‘Beyond: Two Souls’ A Fulfilling Acting Journey For Ellen Page

BEYOND Two Souls (Sony Computer Entertainment) Whether you’re reading a novel, watching a movie, or even playing a video game, a kiss is still a kiss and a story is still a story.

Although naysayers scoff at the thematic and narrative value of video games, creative ventures like Beyond: Two Souls aim to broaden the genre’s ever expanding horizons.

Last week, critics and movie fans were buzzing about Sandra Bullock and George Clooney opening up Gravity, and maybe one day that same buzz will focus on A-list actors who are featured in the latest video game.

Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe are featured in Beyond: Two Souls, and the Playstation 3 title, which was released today, has received its share of excellent reviews. Director David Cage, who was the writer behind the acclaimed PS3 effort Heavy Rain, continues to bring a sense of cinematic aesthetic to video games with his latest effort. Centering on 15 years in the life of a girl named Jodie Holmes, Beyond: Two Souls isn’t a point and click adventure or a straight ahead shoot ’em up.

By giving gamers the chance to explore Jodie’s connection with a spirit named Aiden, their choices are not based on a one-dimensional action driven mechanic. Instead, consider this PS3 title as a choose your life adventure. How will you navigate Jodie through her years, and will that road take her straight to death’s door or a completely different avenue?

Beyond Two SoulsWe interviewed Ellen Page today in Los Angeles, and she described her experience in Beyond: Two Souls as “incredible.” It’s that sense of creative gratification which should bring even more thespians into the video gaming universe.

“I knew it was going to be cool,” said Page, who was featured earlier this year in The East. “I knew it was going to be challenging. I knew it was going to be a lot of things. I had no idea that it was going to be one of the most fulfilling acting experiences I’ve ever had. It was really incredible. It was very challenging, sort of relentless in how challenging it was. But (it) was so much fun. I don’t think I would have thought that two years ago.”

Click on the media bar to hear Ellen Page talk about getting involved with Beyond: Two Souls:

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Rocksmith 2014 Edition Trailer Strums Along With New Features

Rocksmith 2014 (Ubisoft) Ubisoft released a new trailer today for Rocksmith 2014 Edition, a popular teaching/rhythm game which actually enables players to learn how to play guitar.

During June’s Electronics Entertainment Expo, Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell gave a pretty cool demonstration of the game, which comes out in October on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Mac. Fans who pre-order the title will also receive The Smashing Pumpkins song Cherub Rock.

At my age, learning how to play the guitar may be an uphill climb, but in the new video, creative director Paul Cross gives a comprehensive breakdown on how players will actually learn how to channel their inner rock god. I’m pretty excited to actually plug Rocksmith 2014 Edition into my 360, even though my chances of mastering Jack Whites’ Sixteen Saltines are zero percent at best. That, however, won’t keep me from strumming.

Feel free to tell us what you think of the new Rocksmith 2014 trailer. To check out the songs that have been announced for the game (there are an estimated 50 songs for the title), check out the list at the bottom of the post.

ROCKSMITH 2014 EDITION Announced Tracks

AerosmithWalk This Way
Alice in Chains
Arctic Monkeys
R U Mine?
Avenged Sevenfold
Bat Country
Bob Dylan
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Iron Maiden
The Trooper
Jack White – Sixteen Saltines
Rock and Roll All Nite
Blood and Thunder
Oasis Don’t Look Back In Anger
Pantera Cemetary Gates
R.E.M. – Losing My Religion
RadioheadParanoid Android
Rise AgainstSavior
SlayerWar Ensemble
The Kinks – You Really Got Me
The Rolling StonesPaint It, Black
The Shins
For A Fool
The Smashing PumpkinsCherub Rock (with pre-order only)
The Smashing PumpkinsThe Chimera
The Who – My Generation
WeezerSay It Ain’t So
White ZombieThunder Kiss ’65

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‘Beyond: Two Souls’ Previews New Footage At Tribeca Film Festival

Beyond: Two Souls (CR: David Bowers/Getty Images for Sony)

Video game developers Quantic Dream, the makers behind the critically beloved title Heavy Rain, are continuing their passion for cinema inspired narratives with Beyond: Two Souls.

The game’s director, David Cage, as well voice actors Ellen Page (Juno), Willem Dafoe), Kadeem Hardison (A Different Worlds), and Eric Winter (TheMentalist) participated at a Saturday panel discussion at the Tribeca Film Festival to talk about the game, which was recognized as an official selection at the fest for its impact on the “Future of Film.”

“This has been a really intense and exciting experience for me, and one that I am extremely proud of,” said Page.  “I’m excited to see everyone’s reaction to the extended scene we are going to be screening – and to feel the powerful emotion that David Cage instills in all his games.”

Beyond: Two Souls centers on 15 years in the life of a youth named Jodie Holmes (Page), a girl who has an inextricable connection to a mysterious entity. The sequence featured at the fest, titled “Homeless,” has Jodie struggling to survive the next meal without a roof over her head or a family to depend on.

“This is a momentous event both in the world of gaming and in the history of the Tribeca Film Festival,” said Dafoe.  “Beyond: Two Souls tells a beautiful story and the players can wholly participate in each scenario and choose the characters’ action.  This game is unlike any project that I’ve ever been involved with before.”

The game comes out October 8th, 2013 for the PlayStation 3.

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‘Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut’ Trailer Serves A Bloody Cup Of Coffee

Deadly Premonition I love a good mystery, and the more abstract the investigation becomes (i.e. Twin Peaks and even The Killing) the better.

That’s why Rising Star Games’ Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut will be the first PlayStation 3 title I’ve played in eons when it comes out April 26th.

Created by Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro, the open world game centers on special agent Francis York Morgan’s attempts to solve a young girl’s murder in the apparently sleepy small town of Greenvale. During his journey, Morgan bumps into supernatural elements which does a number on his mental state, and one would assume the locals aren’t too emotionally balanced either.

Fans who pre-order the title from Amazon.com will receive an exclusive Field Ops suit that increases Morgan’s hit points and attack prowess.  If you want to pre-order the game via GameStop, you’ll get an Espresso Suite which gives you stronger tolerance to hunger and exhaustion.

I never played the Xbox 360 version when it came out in 2010, but the trailer below, which has a nice mix of chills and a few bloody spills, has caught my attention.  The game received strong reviews upon its initial release, and hopefully this thriller won’t disappoint.

Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think of Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut.

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Posted by Greg Srisavasdi (@Gsrisavasdi)

Grant Bowler Loves “Incredible Culture” Behind SyFy’s ‘Defiance’

Defiance (Syfy/CR: Joe Pugliese) So what would happen if aliens attempted to coexist with humans on Earth but the inevitable tensions still continued to fester? Julie Benz and Grant Bowler headline the new series Defiance, which premieres tonight on SyFy at 9 pm et/pt.

Mr. Bowler plays an ex-Marine named Joshua Nolan who brings his adopted alien daughter (Stephanie Leonidas) with him to settle down in Defiance. Benz is the town’s newly appointed mayor, who tries to keep the peace among the humans and the seven alien races.

“One of the loveliest things I think about our backstory, and it’s a very rich and textured backstory,” says Bowler. “In part because of four years of development of both a game and a show and all of the cross-pollination between the two, we’ve developed an incredible culture.”

The huge element which makes Defiance unique is that a separate PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 game recently came out that will attempt to connect both worlds.  How in the world does this work, at least in layman’s terms?

Click on the media bar and listen to Bowler talk about how the video game and the TV series are connected to each other.

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The Smurfs 2 Goes Platforming Crazy In July & Offers Extra Wii U Feature

The Smurfs 2

Columbia Pictures is releasing The Smurfs 2 on July 31st, and in the same month those diminutive blue creatures are headed to the video game world. The title will be released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, the Wii, and the Nintendo DS.

The Smurfs 2 is an adventure platformer in which players relive moments and immerse themselves in environments which were featured in the movie. Locations in the game include stops at New York City and Paris, as well as new worlds such as the Arctic Tundra and the Lava Jungle.  The DS version differs from the other consoles, as it is a collection of mini-games.

Gamers can either play solo or multiplayer mode with up to four users playing simultaneously.

The big video game news, however, is the interesting addition that is exclusive to the Nintendo Wii U.  Owners of the console get an extra bonus, as a fifth player can be added by controlling Clockwork Smurf on the Wii U GamePad.

Featuring over 30 levels, players can choose among nine Smurfs that were featured in the movie (Papa Smurf and Grouch Smurf are among the playable characters).

“By collaborating with Sony Pictures on the iconic Smurfs license again we are able to extend the experience from film to immersive gameplay,” said Ubisoft worldwide licensing VP Christian Salomon. “The family friendly The Smurfs 2 video game will allow players of all ages to continue the fun and revel in new adventures.”

Sony and Ubisoft previously collaborated on the 2011 title The Smurfs Dance Party.

Smurfs 2 (Sony Pictures Animation)As for the actual movie, expect another exceptional box-office return.  The first film took in $560 million worldwide!!

Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays reprise their live action roles for the sequel, and voice actors Katy Perry and Hank Azaria return as Smurfette and Gargamel, respectively.

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