fantasy

Screen Heroes Awards

Screen Heroes Awards
Screen Heroes

 
 
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Welcome to the 3rd Annual Screen Heroes Awards! This year, we bring you 32 categories spanning film, television, and video games. Join us as our three Screen Heroes hosts are joined by hosts from all across the Heroes Podcast Network to discuss the nominees you’ve been voting on for weeks and who the winners are, plus our own takes on those choices.

We do apologize for the echo in the audio. It’s inconsistent and varies in strength depending on who is talking.

Watch the episode here:

What did you think of our nominees and winners?  We want to know! Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

Subscribe to Screen Heroes! The links to iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Spreaker, Google Play, and our RSS feed are below!

Stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Not ready for that kind of commitment? No problem! Buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts because every dollar truly does help.

Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guests
Jon Czerwinski (former Gamer Heroes host)
Thomas Egan (Gamer Heroes host)
Kacey Parnacott (host of a coming soon Anime focused series)
Ian Turner (host of Echo Station and Costume Couture)

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

iTunes
Screen-Heroes.com

Blog Talk Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/screenheroes

Spreaker

Google Play

RSS Feed

Social Media
@ScreenHeroesPod

Screen Heroes Awards

SH S3E21: Best Live-Action Fantasy Movies

It’s time for the Best Live-Action Fantasy Movies of All-Time! That’s right, we sit down and provide our Top 5 fantasy movies, making up a solid list of 20 live-action films. Before we jump into that, we talk some news including the directors leaving the Han Solo movie, plus the reality of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman pay.

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

Don’t forget to subscribe to Screen Heroes! The links to iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Google Play, and Feedburner are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Robert McCullagh

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

iTunes Subscription Link

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

Blog Talk Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/screenheroes

Google Play Subscription Link
https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Iwvfusxqyignwamadhc3viav4qy

Feedburner Subscription Link
http://feeds.feedburner.com/griddaily/screenheroes

RSS Feed Link
http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/screenheroes

Social Media
@HeroesPodcasts

SH S3E21: Best Live-Action Fantasy Movies

The Last Witch Hunter Reviewed

While the latest Vin Diesel film, The Last Witch Hunter, may seem like exactly what you would expect, it probably isn’t. Commonly known for his over the top action franchise, The Fast and the Furious series, you may think that Diesel is branching out into over the top fantasy action flicks with this film but unfortunately, everything about this film is simply lacking. Personally, I found the Fast and Furious to be an entertaining series filled with fun and adrenaline but also with a decent amount of good character development interspersed, as outrageous as those films are. the-last-witch-hunter

————————————Spoilers Ahead————————————-

Unfortunately, The Last Witch Hunter possesses none of the action packed charm or appeal of Diesel’s previous films. The entire plot is filled with pointless events, all of which feel disconnected and like the writers were making it up as they went along. The film starts with Vin Diesel’s character, Kaulder, a person of seemingly Viking or European Barbarian origin, along with several other comrades as they invade a witch lair, hoping to rid the world of the Witch Queen as she is apparently responsible for the Black Plague in her attempt to rid the world of humans. After defeating the Witch Queen, Kaulder is cursed by her with immortality hence the reason the rest of the film takes place in the modern day. Once at this point, the rest of the film takes place like the plot of a bad linear video game. Kaulder goes from cliche fantasy location to other cliche fantasy location slowly learning details about the dark witch’s plot to predictably resurrect the Witch Queen and to restart the Black Plague all over again. Without having to go into all the details, the ending of the film basically leaves Kaulder in the exact same place as the beginning. Zero things have changed for him. He is still left immortal, still charged with defeating witches, and still has Michael Caine as a mentor who is, unfortunately, horribly wasted as an actor. And what makes this whole ending ludicrous is how Kaulder makes the obtuse observation that something has changed in his life when literally nothing has. Now to clarify, all of this happens without a lick of decent action to even make up for the bad plot and acting.

In short, don’t waste your time.
rs_1024x645-150617142654-1024.vin-diesel-last-witch-hunter2.jw.61715Did you catch The Last Witch Hunter opening weekend? Do you disagree with my thoughts? Comment below!

The Last Witch Hunter Reviewed

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Review

Overview:

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a downloadable title available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, as well as their next generation counterparts. The story follows the quest of two brothers looking for a tree that will cure their sick father. Along the way, they encounter wild animals, trolls, giants, cultists, and many other strange things, some good and some not.

The Good:

1. Brothers is a truly unique game in how it handles both protagonists. The older brother is controlled through the left thumb stick and left trigger. The younger brother is controlled through the right thumb stick. This can really play tricks with your mind if you’re right-handed like me and the brothers somehow end up on opposite sides of the screen from your controller. I had to stop more than once to get them switched around. Nevertheless, this setup made for some rather interesting puzzles that challenge parts of the brain one does not usually use.

While flying, you have to move the brothers left or right to steer the glider.

While flying, you have to move the brothers left or right to steer the glider.

2. This is a platform game and, as previously mentioned, it has a lot of puzzles that require the brothers to work together. However, each brother has his own skill-set. For example, the older brother can pull levers while the younger brother does not have the strength. Meanwhile, the younger brother has the ability to slip into places that are too small for the older brother. The collaboration of the brothers is a lot of fun and it is nice to not be totally alone in those dark and dangerous places. The brothers are also different in their personalities. Whereas the older brother is more mature and strong, the younger brother is compassionate and a bit of a goof.

3. The supplementals of Brothers work quite nicely. The graphics are not high detail like a Call of Duty title or Mass Effect. Rather, they are more like out of a storybook like Fable‘s graphics. This fits the fantasy genre quite well. Likewise, the music enhances the experience and draws on emotion with a sound that has a sort of wooden flute as the lead instrument. There is also no spoken dialogue, but the game makes it pretty easy to know what is going on based on tone of voice (they do speak but it’s no language I know) and symbols.

The brothers meet plenty of strange people and things, some that will help you and others that will not.

The brothers meet plenty of strange people and things, some that will help you and others that will not.

4. Level design is not lazy in the slightest in Brothers. The player goes everywhere from a village, caves, mountains, the air, a giant fortress, among other places. With the exception of the first section, I was never bored with the setting. Rather, I was drawn into it and wanted to keep playing. Add terrors and monsters to the equation and you have a diverse and dark game-play experience.

The Bad:

1. Minor glitches still hurt this game. The only ones I came across involved the older brother (never the younger brother surprisingly) getting stuck in areas and not being able to move. I would have to reload a checkpoint to be able to get out of it. Since the game saves fairly frequently, this was a minor concern. Nevertheless, it was a bit of a nuisance.

2. I am still not sure how I feel about the ending. I will not give it away here, but the story takes a rather bold move that may upset certain audiences. I give it credit for boldness, but I’m truly not sure if it was the right move.

brothers3

The brothers have to work together in puzzles. In this one, one grips a surface while the other swings across to the other side with the attached rope.

Conclusion:

I have never played a game quite like Brothers. The control scheme is innovative even though it can be trying at times. The story is dark and sometimes even brutal. The game is very short, but for someone who does not have too much time to spend on video games nowadays, I like a decently short game. If you’re one for a variation on platformer games, then this is certainly a game you should check out.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Review

A Cybernetic Cinderella

These days it feels like we are inundated with re-tellings and re-imaginings of Fairy Tales. Despite very favorable reviews from people I respect, I was hesitant to begin reading Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, because it was (yet another) Cinderella story. Ultimately I decided to take the plunge, and I’m glad that I did.

The Good

The initial setup for Cinder’s story is very easy to map to the elements of the classic story: the step-mother and step-sisters, the prince, the upcoming ball. But as this story is set in a futuristic world of robots and cybernetics, we get some interesting twists on the original story as well.  Instead of talking animals, we get a quirky household servant android.

The primary antagonist for the book, and the series, is the Lunar Queen Levana. A colony, established on the moon hundreds of years ago, has developed into a powerful nation, and the Levana is apparently intent on conquering Earth, one way or another. Part of the reason the Lunars are so powerful is because of their ability to manipulate bioelectric energy, sometimes helpfully referred to as ‘magic’ when discussed by Earth-based characters. This power allows a Lunar to manipulate what another character sees, feels, and does when under the direct influence of the Lunar. The character easily maps to the “evil queen/witch” character found in many fairy tales, and in particular to the queen in Snow White, given the cover text from later books in the series.

One of the interesting twists that I really appreciated is the cultural perception of cyborgs, and how it influences the characters in the story. Cyborgs are literally viewed as being less than human. And as Cinder is a cyborg, that little detail gives the step-mother character an additional motivation for her unkindness, as well as significantly changing Cinder’s motivations. This Cinderella doesn’t want to go to the ball. Cinder has completely different plans for her life. As you might expect, she does eventually attend the ball, but largely for reasons other than what you generally expect from a Cinderella story.

The Bad

There’s an additional ‘special’ ability that Cinder is revealed to have late in the book, and one of the other characters mentions that it is very distinctive and reminiscent of another character, but we get no additional information on what that means. The connection between Cinder and that other character have already been established by that point in the story, so telling us “your power looks a lot like hers”, but not telling us what that means or what it looks like, is frustrating as it feels like the author is deliberately withholding information that you would expect to be revealed at this point.

(I do see the irony in expressing frustration with how vague the book was regarding this point, while myself remaining vague about what that power is and the ‘connection to another character’, but I’m chalking that one up to trying to be as spoiler-free as possible.)

The most frustrating part of the book is how it ends, because it feels very much like the story had just gotten really moving.  In essence, the story ends shortly after Cinder has fled the ball, and nothing has really been resolved. It feels very much like this story was written with the expectation that you are going to have to pick up the next book in the series to see how this plays out, even though the next book in the series appears to center, at least initially, on a completely different character.

The Verdict

Cinder is a very fun book to read, and, in all likelihood, I’ll be picking up the sequel in the near future to see how the story proceeds. Cinder is very much not the traditional helpless girl, waiting for a prince to save her. She’s competent, motivated, and tries to do what is best for herself and the people she cares about. It’s the best kind of princess story these days. The prince is there, and he’s part of the story. But it really is Cinder’s story, and does not revolve around him as the center of her universe. And that’s wonderfully refreshing take on this story.

A Cybernetic Cinderella