8/25/09

Back to Work

I'll admit that it looks like the Asterisk has been slacking. The fact is that a lot of stuff has been happening behind the scenes, both in the lives of the writers and in the development of the site. So, to make up for lost time I'm going to do a bit of a round up of the biggest geek news in the past few weeks.

1) Avatar trailer looks like crap on the internet.
Several reports are coming in that the trailer for Avatar, James Cameron's highly anticipated adaptation of the anime, looks like an adult version of Delgo. These people watched the trailer on the internet and concluded that the entire thing is computer animated while in fact only the more fantastical elements are. In theaters, the trailer has been received with wide-spread praise, especially in IMAX. After watching it over and over both at the theater where I work and on the Internet, I have to conclude two things: 1- it does look awesome on screen, and 2 - it will probably look even more awesome by sheer virtue of the fact they have several months to touch a few things up. What may be throwing some people off is the fact that some of the live action stuff is shown in slow motion, setting off the physics and making it look more CG. This is a testament to the fact that they are able to bring CG and live action so close together that it's really impossible to tell them apart and, in fact, it's even possible to mistake real life for animation. The best computer animation so far this year has to go to District 9 which made aliens that really looked like they were there and belonged in the environment. When Avatar is released, we'll see if District 9 keeps that title.

2)Batman: Arkham Asylum kicks video game reviewers in the face.
It would seem that Arkham Asylum is doing to the superhero video game industry what Batman Begins and The Dark Knight did to the superhero movie industry. Appropriate that Bats gets the honor of kicking industries in the pants, eh? Way to go, Bruce. Honestly, this looks like one heck of a game with an awesome cinematic storyline. I only wish I was able to play it. I hope Jocelyn gets around to reviewing it for us.

3) World of Warcraft: Cataclysm details revealed at BlizzCon.
Rumors have been flying about WoW's next expansion. Now we have clear details about what to expect in Azeroth's future. Cataclysm will follow Azeroth's story after an earth-shattering devastation changes the face of the globe forever. Highlights: Goblins will join the Horde as a playable race. Worgens, Gilneans, will join the Alliance. Hyjal will open as a playable zone. The Sunken City of Vashj'ir will open allowing underwater gameplay including underwater mounts. Flying mounts will be allowed in Azeroth Proper. DEATHWING IS BACK! For more news about Cataclysm, I recommend visiting WoW Insider at WoW.com.

4) World of Warcraft movie production chugging along.
I would hate to have too much WoW news, but this is pretty important movie news, too. Warcraft is right up there with Lord of the Rings in terms of its epic, deep and sprawling lore. It was only a matter of time before someone made it a movie. Sam Raimi is the definite choice for their director, and the vice president of Blizzard, Frank Pearce, said recently that Blizzard will be deeply involved in the creative process because if they don't, "there’s no guarantee that the production company that’s making your movie is going to appropriately honor your intellectual property, and our intellectual property is our lifeblood." This I like. Usually I'll always fight for the director and the screenwriter's vision of a movie, but when it comes to a property like World of Warcraft, if Blizzard doesn't get what it wants, the fans will riot. Luckily, in Raimi, we have a fellow player. Also... Bruce Campbell as Leeroy Jenkins??  Hmmmm... /strokechin

5) Wil Wheaton to join the cast of The Guild as a rival GM.
Is this WoW news? Not really... Sorta, but not really. If you haven't seen The Guild yet, I highly recommend taking the time. Especially if you play MMOs and love your guild. This series, created, written, produced by and staring Felicia Day, follows the story of people who play World of Warcraft together in their every-day lives. It's gone on for two seasons now, and at BlizzCon it was officially announced (actually, I think someone said something before BlizzCon, but we're going to pretend I'm right) that Enterprise Cadet and world-famous geek, Wil Wheaton, is joining the cast in the third season. If someone slips up and calls him Wesley I'm going to smile even bigger.

That's all I got for now. Have a tip for some geek news? Email at tips@thegreenasterisk.com and we'll check it out.