Microsoft’s biggest exclusive of this year (so far) and a pair of strong Oscar nominees round out this week of blockbuster game and movie releases!
It’s Oscar week, and the stars are out to shine! By that, I mean we have some great Academy-approved content like a Martial Arts Actor Battle Royal Fantasy Fight and our annual Oscar Time extravaganza. To that end, we have some Oscar-nominated movies hitting Blu-ray alongside some notable game releases. Speaking of… all new game releases (and all pre-order games) come with a 20% discount via Amazon Prime! Also, any purchase you make on Amazon in the same visit after clicking a Laser Time link helps out the hosts of the fourth leading pop-culture podcast. You can literally buy ANYTHING that visit, just be sure to click one of these products before making your merry way to your intended purchase. Got it? Good.
Halo Wars 2
Here we have what is (surprisingly) the biggest Xbox One exclusive of 2017. Granted, Microsoft is holding its Scorpio cards EXTREMELY close to their chest and stuff like Crackdown 3 and Cuphead should be good though are far from guaranteed to release this year. Hence, Halo Wars 2 is Microsoft’s biggest gun right now. The original was fun back in 2008, and I have hope that ensuing NINE YEARS have led to some advancements in console-based real-time-strategy. Truth be told, I could use a break from standard Halo games after the Master Chief Collection and Halo 5, so I look forward to waging Halo Wars once more in the near future. Unlike actual wars, Halo Wars 2 can be had on the cheap if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, as the physical edition of the game runs 20% cheaper at launch!
ALSO AVAILABLE: ULTIMATE EDITION, XBOX ONE 1TB HALO WARS 2 BUNDLE
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk
While I’m not the biggest fan of the musou genre, I can appreciate the endless hack-and-slash style when properly applied to a franchise. Slower stuff like Zelda and Dragon Quest are a little weird, but when it comes to insane anime, I’m more accepting. To that end, there’s no insanely-violent anime better suited to musou than Berserk. A mysterious hero with a giant sword slaying thousands of easy-to-kill cronies sounds pretty appetizing right now. You won’t go berserk at the price tag, though, since Amazon Prime members will save 20% on this hack-and-slash-a-thon when buying at launch!
Manchester by the Sea
If you’re looking for an Oscar-nominated movie to depress the hell out of you, Manchester by the Sea might just be the best bet. Looking for two hours of sad revelations, depressing deaths, and Casey Affleck barely growing or experiencing any catharsis? Manchester by the Sea will frustrate and sadden you in equal measures. I’ve been a bit critical of the younger Affleck’s performance, but there’s a sadness to his introversion (though I don’t think he’s at the Oscar-nominated level of Michelle Williams or Lucas Hedges. Still, it’s a very simple, yet affecting story that packs in some nice cinematography of Massachusetts, too.
OF COURSE every single Clint Eastwood story about World War II is gonna get no… wait, Mel Gibson directed this? Even if MG is still in movie jail for being racist and sexist, he can still tell some important stories behind the camera. Unlike so many military-focused movies which focuses fighting, Hacksaw Ridge shows a different perspective of a military medic who chooses not to engage in combat due to his personal beliefs. Given how much military contention has been building as of late, HR seems to be a movie that shows that choosing not to fight might just be the strongest strategy.
Bad Santa 2
This release of Bad Santa 2 is sad on a few levels. Firstly, who’s in the market for a Christmas movie at the end of February? I love the holidays but I ain’t watching anything with Saint Nick until at least September. Secondly, a new Bad Santa makes me a Sad Dave when I consider that two of my favorite actors in the original are no longer with us (John Ritter and Bernie Mac). So while BS2 won’t be on my radar for the next 7-8 months, I might check back in on Billy Bob Thornton’s foul-mouthed yuletide icon the next time the holidays roll around.
While I missed this super-early ode to the Internet in 1995 (so sue me… the World Wide Web wasn’t as alluring to me as a bus that can’t slow down), I’m definitely tempted to check out The Net now that’s available in high-def. For one thing, seeing the Information Superhighway as it was envisioned some 22 years ago is already tempting, but since parts of the movie were filmed in San Francisco (particularly the Moscone Center, which houses GDC), I get the added benefit of seeing my neighborhood as it looked two decades ago.
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