PlayStation Kick-Off Their January Sale!

With three days to go until Christmas, it would appear the folks at PlayStation may be a few days ahead of us as today they kicked off their January sale! This sale looks to be a great opportunity to spend some of your Christmas dosh on some games you might not have picked up yet! We’ve had a quick peruse through this year’s offerings and picked out some recommendations (off-sale price in brackets).

  • Spider-ManÂŁ34.99 (ÂŁ54.99)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4ÂŁ35.99 (ÂŁ59.99)
  • God of War: Digital Deluxe EditionÂŁ22.34 (ÂŁ52.99)
  • The Sims 4ÂŁ8.99 (ÂŁ34.99)
  • Assassin’s Creed OdysseyÂŁ29.99 (ÂŁ54.99)
  • Shadow of the Tomb RaiderÂŁ25.24 (ÂŁ54.99)
  • Spyro Reignited TrilogyÂŁ26.24 (ÂŁ34.99)
  • SOULCALIBUR VIÂŁ34.99 (ÂŁ54.99)
  • Just Cause 4ÂŁ41.24 (ÂŁ54.99)
  • Kingdom Come: DeliveranceÂŁ19.49 (ÂŁ49.99)

There are lots of great games on sale, so we’d love to hear your recommendations! Shoot them to us in the comments below, or over on Twitter – @JUMPCUT_PLAY

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Kristof Kiraly: VFXtraordinaire

Kristof Kiraly may not be a household name, but as a visual effects artist, Kiraly has played a part in making some of the biggest films of recent years. From ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to ‘The Jungle Book’, mass explosions to vast landscapes, Kristof Kiraly is the man with the magic touch who, along with his team at Double Negative Visual Effects, gives your favourite films that extra kick.

Interview by Jakob Lewis Barnes

tgotg

JLB: Working in visual effects seems like a very specific and technical field of filmmaking, was there a particular moment where you realised that was what you wanted to do?

KK: From a very early age, I was obsessed with creation. I spent hours drawing, sculpting or playing with Lego. I’ve always wanted to understand how things work under the surface. I think it’s this kind of curiosity which led me to the world of computer graphics.

Like many other artists, the big blockbusters were the real push for me; I remember watching behind-the-scenes documentaries of ‘Star Wars’, ‘Jurassic Park’ etc. and realising that people do this for a living was a life-changing experience. Of course I had no idea how I could break in to the industry, but I dived in deep and spent all my time learning VFX on my own (this was a time before YouTube tutorials). With that knowledge, I was fortunate enough to secure a job with a small VFX company where I really started growing, and after six years I got invited to MPC (Moving Picture Company) in London.

JLB: I imagine visual effects to be an extremely challenging and painstaking task, so what, in your opinion, does it take to be a top visual effects artist?

KK: In my opinion, a good VFX artist has to be a good problem solver, because that is essentially what we’re doing most of the time. In this very technical world, things go wrong all the time and you have to figure out how to fix them. The ability to work under pressure is a must-have skill too; time is always compressed and the number of tasks can often be overwhelming.

Also you have to be open to learning new things all the time, because the industry is rapidly evolving and if you stop learning you’ll get left behind. And finally, learn to leave your ego at home. A movie is a team effort where your work is always open to criticism, changes and sometimes it can even be completely thrown out. That’s the nature of the beast, but that is also why the end result is usually much better than the first version.

maleficent

JLB: On IMDb you’re credited as “Environment Technical Director” – can you clarify exactly what that entails on a day-to-day basis, and on a larger scale in the filmmaking process?

KK: Environment Technical Directors are responsible for creating environment scenes, that match the photographic quality of the plates they are dealing with. In simpler terms, everything that isn’t a character, vehicle or prop is environment. Creating environments requires both technical and artistic knowledge, as it involves everything from matte-painting to modeling, texturing, projections, lighting, rendering and even composition. As I said earlier, it is creative problem solving on every level.

JLB: Your filmography includes quite a few superhero movies such as ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but who is your favourite hero (or villain) and why?

KK: To be completely honest, I’m not a huge superhero or comics fan. I personally prefer movies that are closer to reality; I am more excited about everyday superheroes like the journalists of ‘Spotlight’, or the computer scientist Alan Turing, who helped Britain win WWII. But if I had to pick a superhero movie it would be Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, with its dark atmosphere and Hans Zimmer’s unforgettable score.

JLB: Recently, films like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and the upcoming ‘Assassins Creed’ have opted for more practical effects rather than CGI – can you see this becoming a common trend?

KK: I think everyone agrees that going practical is the proper way of approaching any shot. It gives the film crew a physicality they can relate to. The actors can feel that they are part of the environment, the DOP can set the lights up properly and figure out what lens and camera movement works. Of course, practical effects are very costly, harder to control and have their limitations. That’s where VFX comes into play – to extend those boundaries, but it should be used sensibly and be based on reality. That’s why it’s good when we have the practical elements.

To be honest, my only problem with this new wave of “practical effect based” movies is their marketing and the way they treat visual effects publicly – as though VFX is just a negligible thing, and practical effects is the holy grail. The fact is that these modern blockbusters have almost no frame which has not been digitally enhanced in some way.

Ex-Machina

JLB: Your company – Double Negative Visual Effects – was part of the VFX Oscar winning team this year for ‘Ex Machina’. Where would you say Ava – the artificial intelligence at the core of the story – ranks among your studio’s creations?

KK: I was extremely pleased to see ‘Ex Machina’ winning the Oscar for Best VFX. Especially since everyone was pretty sure that it would go to either ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Mad Max’. I think the movie in general was a massive achievement, and the effects served the story well; it wasn’t just a mindless visual orgy but a very organic piece. ‘Ex Machina’ is a great example of why I love to work for Double Negative – it is very much a technology-driven company with some insanely-talented artists.

JLB: For you personally, what is your proudest moment/favourite piece of work in the VFX industry?

KK: I’m extremely thankful that this is my nine-to-five. Working on movies that millions of people will go and see (and hopefully enjoy) is very rewarding. I’m proud of everything I’ve been working on, but my personal top three would be ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘Mission:Impossible – Rogue Nation’ and ‘Spectre’.

Mission Impossible

JLB: And finally, what is the best piece of advice you’ve been given throughout your career?

KK: I’ve been given lots of great advice throughout my career, but two of those stand out as the most influential. The first, is from my late grandfather who told me that you have to learn new things so you have more legs to stand on and that will give you stability.

The other is from my former MPC leader, mentor and friend, Marco G, who told me that in VFX you have to have three things to survive: reputation, connections, and savings.

Top 10 Most Anticipated Blockbusters of 2016

Written by Daniel Chadwick

Big event movies aren’t dead yet…Sure, we live in a Golden Age of television right now; stretching from ‘Fargo’ to ‘The People vs O.J. Simpson’ through to the recently finished, iconic ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Mad Men’. But let’s not count out the blockbuster yet. There are so many exciting and thrilling movies on the horizon.

 2016 alone has six superhero movies that stand out, alongside dozens of other big-budget extravaganzas. But this self-described movie nerd is here to highlight the best and brightest blockbusters of 2016.


10. Sausage Party

It’s been a while since we got an R-Rated animated movie (unless you count the likes of Anomalisa and South Park) and Seth Rogen’s latest venture looks like it might be a standout hit. I personally have loved some of the TV-MA shows on Netflix such as ‘Archer’ and ‘Bojack Horseman’ so I’m quite excited for this. After seeing that NSFW trailer count me in.


 

9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Many will find it shocking to find a Star Wars movie at the lower end of my top 10, but I’m still not convinced. Yes, ‘The Force Awakens’ was a step in the right direction, and far better than any of the prequel trilogy, but Star Wars still doesn’t have my complete trust back, especially considering this movie is rumoured to include no Jedi and is a spin off. For now I’m reservedly excited.


 

8. Finding Dory

The only kids movie on this list, ‘Finding Dory’ is the only sequel I’ve wanted from Pixar besides the follow up to ‘The Incredibles’. Dory is voiced brilliantly by Ellen Degeneres and seeing all the band back together for this sequel only gets me more excited. Finally we’ll get some insight into the standout star of ‘Finding Nemo’.


 assassins creed

7. Assassin’s Creed

This, in my mind, will be the definitive video game to movie adaptation. Justin Kurzel has proven himself as a visually astounding director (see Macbeth, also with Fassbender and Cotillard) and he also knows his action set pieces. This franchise is rich for interpretation and Michael Fassbender can do no wrong in my book. Bring Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons in and I’m fully on board.


suicide squad

6. Suicide Squad

After the disappointment (for some) of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘Suicide Squad’ carries huge responsibility for the DC Cinematic Universe now, and I think it will be a big winner for Warner Bros. The trailers have been fantastic and it looks like it could be the anti-hero movie that comic book fans have been waiting for. It also could be Jai Courtney’s first good role… ever, so that in itself makes this movie one to watch.


 

5. Star Trek: Beyond

I’m a massive fan of the new ‘Star Trek’ movie series and this new addition looks to be in the spirit of the rest of the series. ‘Star Trek’ used cool music from the 80’s long before ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ did, so screw the haters of the music in the ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ trailer. Bring on the man, the myth, the legend Idris Elba as the main antagonist of the movie. I can’t wait to get back together with the crew of the Enterprise.


 

4. Doctor Strange

Marvel’s first attempt at handling magic looks to be very unique, and the first origin story to come out of Marvel since ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. It also dives deeper into the Quantum Realm which we were introduced to in ‘Ant-Man’. Throw in Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejifor, and this movie promises to be one of the best Marvel ensembles seen in a standalone character film.


 Bourne 5

 3. Jason Bourne

The return of Jason Bourne, the most bad-ass spy that has ever graced the silver screen. Matt Damon is back alongside Bourne extraordinaire Paul Greengrass to present the life of Jason Bourne years after the events of ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’. This offers a potentially interesting look into domestic surveillance and the big role surveillance now plays in spying on people. Will Bourne be out for justice? Does he finally remember everything as he said in the trailer? I can’t wait to find out!


2. Passengers

Two of Hollywood’s biggest stars get together in this sci-fi epic about a man (Chris Pratt) who wakes up from cryosleep 60 years early on a trip to a distant colony. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone he wakes up another crew member (Jennifer Lawrence). Directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), this movie takes a unique look at space, this time offering us a romance in space. We haven’t even seen a picture yet, never mind a trailer but looks like a potential Oscar contender while being a movie with a huge budget.


civil war

1. Captain America: Civil War

There really couldn’t be any other. As a huge Marvel fan, this movie has been on my radar for years and after seeing the countless trailers I’m counting down the days. It’s been called ‘The Godfather’ of superhero movies and I believe that 100%. This movie is going to make me laugh, jump up and down and cry. Introducing us to Spider-Man and Black Panther, it wouldn’t be a surprise if ‘Civil War’ turns out to be Marvel’s best movie yet.


What do you think? Let’s start the debate in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter 

Will Game To Movie Adaptations Ever Work?

Written by Luke Riley

“There have been valiant attempts (Mortal Kombat, Hitman) and there are upcoming releases that should do the trick (Warcraft, Assassin’s Creed) but the inherent problem is translating an interactive medium to a passive one. What makes games fun is playing them not just watching them. A ‘Gears of War’ movie would rock though…”

Carlos Ferro

Carlos Ferro

I was fortunate enough to be able to contact Carlos Ferro – voice of Dom from ‘Gears of War’ and Da Vinci from ‘Assassin’s Creed’ – who raised a very good point. He highlights the obvious thing that Hollywood seems to forget. The objective is for two different mediums to tell the same story or evoke the same feelings to remind you why you’re a fan.

The easy example – for it is one of the very few good examples – is ‘Mortal Kombat’. Released in 1995, this wasn’t made to be a fighting video game with real actors but a fighting movie based on a video game. As an eight year old in 1995, this movie was the dream. Endless fighting, four armed warriors and a final fight above a floor of spikes. Also let us not forget the amazing theme tune, which is the perfect accompaniment to any gym session. If we’re counting animated movies then ‘Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within’ and ‘Final Fantasy: Advent Children’ can also be counted among the well made adaptions from video games.

What these movies have done well was to be a movie, not just a video game thrown onto the silver screen. Not to discredit video games, as I am a huge fan of gaming, but certain things quite simply don’t translate effectively. Video games are notorious for badly scripted dialogue, cliche male characters and female characters who don’t represent women very well. Actually, a lot of movies, particularly action movies, do these things as well, but there’s a reason games have the reputation they do. ‘Lara Croft’ was originally little more than a 90s pin-up, sprawled over countless magazines in various poses. She wasn’t the strong survivor of the recent ‘Tomb Raider’ video game reboots. This is the reason we get movies like ‘Resident Evil’, another series of bad adaptions. A movie franchise in which the female lead is very often scantily-clad and objectified is a clear sign that Hollywood presumed that their target audience was teenage virgins who live in their parents basement who’ve never seen a woman in real life.

This article is discussing why video games have rarely enjoyed successful adaptions into films, and the answer is simple; it’s because the creators have not understood or respected their audience. I have played video games for nearly 30 years now, and while the confused teen-in-denial version of myself may have enjoyed Angelina Jolie as ‘Lara Croft’, the adult me does not. It’s just a poorly made film, and if you count the even more dreadful sequel, then you have a double whammy of awful game to film translations. The reason is almost solely down to misunderstanding the audience. We have played the games, we know them, so what we want is a faithful adaption of that.

‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Harry Potter’, while these were adaptions of books, they were movies adapted from another medium and are evidence of just how successful and accomplished an adaptation can be. Video games deserve that same talent and passion behind their silver screen counterparts.

However, all is not lost, and to quote Gandalf, “Hope is kindled”. This being in the form of the upcoming ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and ‘Warcraft’ films. With stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard at the fore – actors who seem to attach themselves exclusively to movies of merit – ‘Assassin’s Creed’ should be a success. It’s also written by Bill Collage and Adam Cooper, who have previously worked on ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’.

This humble writer enjoyed ‘Exodus’ quite a lot, and these writers seem like a good fit for me. Justin Kurzel is the director of the critically acclaimed ‘Macbeth’, which also stars Fassbender and Cotillard, so with this collaboration there seems to be a level of trust and all things point to a positive movie going experience. There is also news that the film will rely more on practical effects rather than CGI, which will give ‘Assassin’s Creed’ a level of authenticity rarely seen in historically-based movies.

a-creed-warcraft

Then there is ‘Warcraft’, a movie that looks as epic as the video game and it seems nothing is being held back in order to recreate this. Duncan Jones is directing, and with credits including ‘Source Code’ and ‘Moon’, we know he understands action and more importantly characters. While the movie is CGI-laden, it looks like it will be character focused and give meaning behind their motives. It also looks like an adaption of a video game, which is the most important thing. As previously said, it’s not just a video game thrown onto the silver screen. Check out the trailer for ‘Warcraft’ here.

The future looks good for video game adaptions, but we’ll have to see how ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and ‘Warcraft’ fare. It feels like all hope hinges on these two adaptions of beloved franchises. Can anyone unlock the secret to successfully adapting a video game onto the big screen? Only time will tell…