This Week’s Best New Releases: Rainbow Birdman

laser-time-amazon-deals-0218

Kirby, Zelda, Birdman, Monsters and many, many Dalmatians. Shop cool new stuff and support Laser Time!

A good week for new stuff! This is where we highlight the latest in TV, movies and video game releases, with a couple of comic book recommendations and upcoming video game pre-order deals, and you can maybe help out Laser Time just by snatching up the new dopeness. Simply shop through our links below, or anytime on the right-side bar, and BAM: You’ve got the easiest way possible to support Laser Time AND get what’s usually the lowest possible price on the internet via shopping on Amazon! You don’t have to buy the specific item highlighted, just enter Amazon through the link and shop like normal. As long as you make a purchase in that visit, we get a couple of pennies, and maybe exist for another year! Thanks in advance and happy shopping, lovers!

PICKS OF THE WEEK

101 Dalmations
So glad this is finally on Blu-ray (and now there’s only one Disney title left before I possibly never buy a physical movie again!) because it’s safe to say that most of us are no longer dropping our jaws at the site of things remastered in High Definition. You sorta only notice a film’s resolution when it isn’t HD these days. The biggest exception to this is and will always be animation, particularly classic Disney animation, since lots of their most famous films were made decades before we were born and the company has a longstanding proactive attitude towards restoration. Perhaps it’s because we’ve all watched them so many times, but seeing animation in HD is an altogether new experience, one that can’t be compared to counting the pockmarks on Bill Murray’s face in Ghostbusters in a 4K transfer. Part of what makes these films “timeless” is because that they can never truly look “old” as long as animation still exists, not even the fantastic 101 Dalmatians, which Disney considers its first truly contemporary film, or the first to be set in the modern day. Well… It isn’t. Lady and the Tramp is (and those two make quick cameos here in the wonderful Twilight Bark sequence.) A doc in the special features claims this is even the first Disney animated movie to feature a car. It isn’t. And I urge whoever thinks that to take a spin on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride as a gentle reminder.

101-dalmations-blu-ray-laser-time-tv
The first Disney movie to feature a TV? Probably!

Speaking of spin, that’s were I get a little grumpy with this disc – although not the film itself, mind you. The Disney propaganda machine is quick to point out that 101 Dalmatians was the first of its films to fully incorporate the “Xerox” method, where lead artists’ rough drawings could be scanned directly on to the animation cel, thus saving a bunch of time by skipping the hand drawn inking process altogether. Sleeping Beauty, Disney’s previous animated effort, had lost the company a shitload of money, and the Xerox method certainly did revolutionize the process of feature animation, in addition to making another animated effort economically feasible. But what Disney doesn’t crow so loud about is that the Xerox method also eliminated the jobs of many talented Inkers, mostly women, forever after and the result here is a rougher, scratchier charcoal look given to every outlines in 101 Dalmatians. The Blu-ray amplifies this a billion fold. Those vibrant, crystal clear lines found in every previous Disney film are part of why these movies hold up as well as the do. They can be stretched and blown to almost any size without looking like artifacts from the period they were made. The viewer doesn’t consider the technical details because once you remove the dusty elements from the cels, you could easily convince a casual viewer these were drawn inside a computer. That’s not the case here. And while the Xerox process would eventually become more refined in Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book, Walt Disney himself hated they way 101 Dalmatians looked at the time. I think you can consider it “a style” that works perfectly fine for 101 Dalmatians, but if you know the history (you’re welcome!) I personally found it a lot harder to ignore in High-Def. Let’s see how the new bonus features handle it…

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Call me bias if you’d like, I love, love, LOVE Monster Hunter. Even while working for the company that makes it, I spent a hefty sum of my own money to import a Japanese 3DS just to play MH4 the moment it came out. I put about 80 hours in before I hit a brick wall of pure language barrier. Now that’s all over, and I almost don’t regret picking up a New 3DS just to play it (the new extra analog stick can be nice, but I forget it’s even there more often than in Majora’s Mask) and I’m only a few hours in, but I’m already having a blast with what should be the opening slog. As far as games go, there is no better value in the universe than Monster Hunter. I’ve met many people who’ve logged over 1000 hours and claim they’ve only done “mostly everything.” Just when you think you’ve mastered something or reached a conclusion, the game throws something new at you, be it something more difficult, a new resource to consider, something silly, free DLC, or most importantly in this case, new badass monsters. Enormous Monkeys, Dragons and Sharks, OH SHIT! That’s the whole game: kill, carve, create. And I’m ceaselessly astounded by how entertaining it can be. The added online mode is a huge addition, since mastering monsters with hardcore Punch-Out logic makes a lot more sense with more than one player to help you through. I could gush on and on… but I kinda already did that with 101 Dalmatians. Here’s my friend code if ya want it: 1805-2255-0241.

THE REST, BUT STILL COOL

Evolve
So now that you’ve heard me ejaculate all over Monster Hunter, you can maybe understand how excited was to play Evolve. Four players versus an enormous monster, although now you can actually play as a Monster? AND via a western presentation and not through a baffling hub based on decades of Japanese legacy I don’t understand?! (MH fans will get it.) So now I beg you to understand how and why I was so let down after playing the Evolve beta. Playing as the monster, easily the biggest draw for me, sucked quite frankly. I’ve been told I’ve been “doing it wrong,” but I still can’t begin to contemplate how an enormous golem can be so weak and powerless at the early stages of each session against frail and weak mortal men. Perhaps Monster Hunter has given me the impression that gigantic bloodthirsty hellbeasts are not to be so easily poked by tiny humans made of flesh and bone, but I find it infuriating that I can wallop, pounce on, hurl rocks and breath plumes of fire on theses humans and do next to no substantial damage. Furthermore, only one member of each of Evolve’s classes can appear in a single game/match. You select which class you want to play the most (Assualt 1st, Support 2nd, Monster 3rd, etc.) and the matchmaking tries to balance out players’ whims into something that’s occasionally fair. Problem is, my last dozen or so matches, in both the beta and retail, I’ve had to play as the monster, the class I set as my lowest priority, every single time. I honestly feel the game deserves a further look from me, but it’s hard when it consistently forces me to play in the role I like the least. I haven’t held a goddamn gun since the alpha, so while I wish I could say something more fair here, it’s hard to do when Evolve constantly treats me like its dipshit little brother, where my preferences get ignored due to my lack of experience. 

Game of Thrones: Season 4
I’m sure I’ve stated that I was reading George “Double R” Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice books long before the HBO show started airing. Can you blame me? Reading books without Spider-man in them is just something that happens so rarely these days, it’s hard not to brag! That said, I was initially turned off by the Game of Thrones show because it was like being slowly retold a story that I already knew. Time is money, people! I bailed halfway through the second season and I’ve never seen the third. But guess what? I jumped back in midway through the fourth season. Why? Mostly because MY FUCKING MOM is watching it. That dopey broad has always liked insipid reality shows, antique programs, and Masterpiece Theater pretty exclusively, yet Game of Thrones is such a pop culture phenomenon, for the first time in my life, I have something both my mother and I like and can talk about. That aside, I’m glad I dove back in. Not only because the show began to heavily deviate from the path blazed by the book, the books themselves get pretty fucking terrible. Better still, news is finally coming out that next season will deviate even further, and as I’ve just outlined, there are three reasons that seems fine and dandy to me.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
I’ve got nothing against the Kirby, but I’ve stated in the past that his releases tend to come out a little fast and furious for my taste. I’ve always liked Kirby game, but they’ve never been a Day 1 priority. I’ll pick ’em up on sale, and almost never complete them. And while these days first-party Nintendo games are much more worthy of my attention, I’m well aware Nintendo can shit out above board Kirby games in its sleep. That said, Canvas Curse is the first thing I ever played that proved to me Nintendo’s weird little handheld with the stylus and two screens had something special to offer gaming. That Nintendo DS game has since become lost, though thankfully, not forgotten with Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. Not only is it easier to get excited over something other than an easy, traditional sidescroller, other than a couple of cute features in Wind Waker HD, I’ve never used Wii U’s touchscreen for anything other than offline play. The stylus has remained even more dormant, utilized exclusively to peck in my password when occasionally visiting the eShop. So huzzah, Nintendo has finally figured out a way to play to its hardware’s strengths while simultaneously revisting a forgotten classic and now I’m excited again. Hank liked it too!

Birdman
Birdman is a pretty fantastic movie. Michael Keaton playing an aging actor desperate for one last shot at thespian relevance after sinking his ship on a string of superhero films is enough alone to get fans of Batman and Keaton on board. But the movie’s also brought to us by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the man behind, IMO, highly underrated modern classic like Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel. And in case you’ve been living under a rock, the entire movie is filmed as one single caustic shot, where time passes, characters come and go, and occasional special effects blaze while the camera never seems to turn off. It’s fucking masterful film making, and of all the 2015 Oscar nominees, only this and Boyhood truly embody movie making magic at its finest. That said, I didn’t like the story much, nor was I satisfied with its conclusion. Michael Keaton deserves every Oscar in the universe for simply being awesome and criminally underutilized throughout the last decade, however, he’s out shined by almost every other actor in the movie. Up to and including Zach Galifianakis, who reportedly had the least flubs during Birdman’s uniquely painstaking process of filming – Go Zach! I didn’t love Birdman even though I fully expected to, but I certainly understand and even hope that other people do. Obviously, you can hear more on our Birdman thought on this week’s Laser Time Oscar Special! Oh, and Theory of Everything also came out this week, if you care.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
In the fifteen years since its Nintendo 64 release, Major’s Mask has gone from being Zelda’s redheaded step child to the misunderstood prodigy deserving of another chance to shine. At that point in my life, I’d completed every Zelda ever, some of them multiple times… yet I found Majora’s Mask three-day reset system baffling, repetitive and just plain weird. This was it: The First Zelda Game I Never Completed. So please, please don’t knock me for setting it aside after a dozen or so hours! This launched right around a little something that would go onto becoming the best-selling console of all-time, the PS2, and there was a helluva lot to be excited about. All that shit said, I’m so goddamned excited about jumping back into a newly refined Majora’s Mask, reportedly a but streamlined and optimized for the New 3DS. Through largely remakes and rediscovery, the Zelda series has become an annual ritual of pure joy for me, and I couldn’t be more excited to dig into this further. I’m currently on my 1st 3rd day, so if that makes any sense to you, wish me luck!

Dumb and Dumber To
Apparently I’m alone on this, but I’m absolutely desperate to see this film. Tragically, nobody else I knew was, so I had to wait until now. IMO, Harold and Lloyd are more than worthy of further comedic adventures. Had Jim Carey not had the period of super-megastradom, I guarantee this would’ve happened before now and we’d all be happier for it. But now that his star had descended to meet Jeff Daniels consistently rising one, here we are, back where we should’ve been in 1995… and almost everyone I know is turning up there noses! So the critics called this movie stupid. Yeah? That’s like calling Age of Ultron a superhero movie. I feel like I could watch these two kinetic buffons do just about anything, but all we’ve gotten is one Colorado road trip so far. About fucking time, says me!

The Interview
Man, this movie is taking a ton of grief, and I absolutely don’t think it’s fair. The premise, involving a douchebag journalist forced to assassinate a North Korean dictator, is a solid comedic scenario utilized wonderfully by Seth Rogen, and most incredibly by James Franco, who’s got more enthusiasm here than I’ve seen in a while, possibly ever. But then the Sony hack happened. Probably as the result of this movie’s premises. It was pulled from theaters. It was in the news. Articles popped up stating it was our patriotic duty to stand up to tyranny and see this film. The fucking president mentioned it! And all of a sudden, we’ve got millions of people who have no idea how to appreciate comedy claiming The Interview is awful. Fuck that, it’s perfectly fun with plenty of gut laughs. For me, all it had to do was be better than Spies Like Us. Mission Accomplished, Franco and Rogen!

CAPE CRISIS RECOMMENDS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING VIDEO GAME PRE-ORDER BONUSES
listed roughly in order of release date

BloodBorne 
-Pre-order Bloodborne and receive an exclusive Messenger skin. Messengers are nightmare creatures that follow your Hunter around to help and to facilitate asynchronous online gameplay features within the game.
-Pre-order to receive an exclusive version of these Messengers
The Order: 1886 *LAST CHANCE*
-Pre-order and receive free Knight’s Arsenal DLC, Arsonist’s Pack and Red Lightning Pack featuring advanced upgrades and weapons
Dragon Ball XenoVerse *LAST CHANCE*
-Pre-order for FREE “Day 1 Edition” Upgrade
-Free Super Sayian 4 Vegeta and 2 Frieza Soldier Battle Suits DLC Pack
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt  
-Pre-order and receive Amazon-exclusive 48-page hardcover comic FREE
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD *NEW*
-Pre-order for and receive Final Fantasy XV Playable Demo
Project CARS
-Pre-order and recieve FREE Modified Car Pack
Battlefield: Hardline  
-Pre-order and receive Versatility Battlepack FREE
Deluxe Edition includes Versatility Battlepack, Suppression Battlepack and Precision Battlepack FREE
MLB 15: The Show 
-Preorder for FREE Dualshock 4 MLB Team or Player Skin
Mortal Kombat X *NEW*
-Pre-order and play as the eight-armed Shokan warrior, GORO.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker *NEW*
-Pre-order and receive free bonus soundtrack
Batman: Arkham Knight 
Pre-order to play as Harley Quinn. Utilize her unique weapons, gadgets, and abilities. Plus, contains 4 Exclusive Challenge Maps

10 thoughts on “This Week’s Best New Releases: Rainbow Birdman

  1. On the ads in my store the interlacing is off on all the Majora’s Mask/New 3DS materials so that the shadows intended to behind one letter are behind another. ‘P’s and ‘G’ on top of each other pandemonium!

  2. Hey Chris – as a newcomer to Monster Hunter, I’m really liking 4 Ultimate so far. I added you as a friend, and here’s my code: 2552-2410-9565.

  3. Did not know any of that Disney information; thanks brotha! Side note, where is Aladin? Thought for-sure they would release it soon due to what happened with Robin.

  4. GODDAMN YOU CHRIS ANTISTA! I decided to take your word about Monster Hunter 4, now I can’t put it down. I play it before bed, on breaks at work, pretty much anytime I get a few minutes to myself. Awesome game, thanks!

  5. I agree that the Interview is perfectly fun. Definitely worth watching, and far more memorable than most of the Oscar-bait trash.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *