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Join the PAX: Behind the Music of Blockbuster Video Games Panel

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Have you ever wanted to learn what it takes to score music for popular video game titles such as Darksiders II, Borderlands 2, and Assassin’s Creed Revelations? Well, a new panel at PAX Prime aims to show you just that! Read on to learn more!

From the Press Release
Ever wondered what it takes to score original music for AAA video games? Learn from four of the industry’s most accomplished composers with diverse musical backgrounds as they share their experiences and discuss the craft of scoring music for some of the biggest franchises in interactive entertainment.

Featuring multiple award-winning composers Jesper Kyd (Darksiders II, Borderlands 2, Assassin’s Creed I & II, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood & Revelations, Hitman 1-4); Michael McCann (Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Splinter Cell: Double Agent); Inon Zur (Dragon Age I & II, Prince of Persia, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, RIFT); and Sam Hulick (Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3).

Moderated by Emily Reese, Host and Producer of Minnesota Public Radio’s “Top Score” podcast. Plus giveaways and a surprise guest! The panel will be followed by a Meet & Greet / Signing session.

When:
Kraken Theatre, Seattle
Saturday, September 1st
10.30am – 11.30am

About Jesper Kyd
Best known for composing the unique, thematic music soundtracks for multi-million selling franchises ASSASSIN’S CREED, BORDERLANDS and HITMAN, Kyd’s compelling and distinctive scores feature a diverse array of instrumentation including orchestra, choir, soloists, acoustic manipulations and electronic soundscapes, immersing audiences with emotional depthand often described by critics as ‘rousing,’ ‘surreal’ and ‘beautiful.’ Spanning from his iconic electronic and symphonic scores for the HITMAN series which won him a BAFTA for Best Original Music, to the post-apocalyptic wasteland themes of BORDERLANDS, and his evocative Middle-Eastern and Renaissance-era scores for the history-inspired ASSASSIN’S CREED series, Jesper Kyd constantly evolves his craft as a leading artist for creating memorable and inspirational original soundtracks. His latest scores include the action/adventure DARKSIDERS II and the role-playing-shooter BORDERLANDS 2.

About Michael McCann
Renowned for his ambient cinematic scores and emotionally-charged organic soundscapes, Michael McCann has established himself as an uncompromising musical force in video games, television and film. His universally acclaimed score for DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, which fuses industrial, choral, world and ambient elements into an epic cyber-noir, tour-de-force soundtrack, earned him nominations from the British Academy of Film & Television Arts, Spike TV VGAs, Hollywood Music in Media Awards, and landed him on IGN’s list of the top 30 people working in video games in 2011. Michael’s diverse work in film, TV and games has also earned him nominations from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences for SPLINTER CELL: DOUBLE AGENT (Game), 2 Genie nominations & 2 Leo Award nominations for sound design IT’S ALL GONE PETE TONG (Film), and a second HMMA nomination for his opening theme to the syndicated sci-tech drama series REGENESIS (TV). Michael continues to evolve his diverse resume, expanding on his work done in multiple fields with companies that have included Paramount Pictures, 2K / Firaxis, Discovery Channel & Alliance Atlantis.

About Inon Zur
Inon Zur composes emotionally dynamic music for film, television, anime and video games. A graduate of the Music Academy of Tel Aviv in Israel, Inon moved to Los Angeles to study the art of film music at the Dick Grove School of Music and UCLA with such luminaries as Jack Smalley, Alan Ferguson and Henry Mancini. His scores for film and television include AU PAIR, ESCAFLOWNE, DIGIMON, POWER RANGERS, STATE OF GRACE and GHOST WHISPERER: THE OTHER SIDE. Zur’s Hollywood scoring expertise combined with his flair for powerful melodic writing is widely recognized in the world of interactive entertainment. Composing cinematic orchestral music for blockbuster franchises such as DRAGON AGE, PRINCE OF PERSIA, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, RIFT, TERA, EVERQUEST, LINEAGE, CRYSIS and FALLOUT, he has received international acclaim including award nominations from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and Spike TV as well as top honors at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Variety named Inon Zur one of the top music talents in interactive entertainment.

About Sam Hulick
Sam Hulick is a BAFTA award nominated and multiple award-winning composer, best known for creating the signature music for BioWare’s epic sci-fi franchise MASS EFFECT. Sam composed the iconic “Mass Effect Theme” as well as “Uncharted Worlds,” “From the Wreckage,” “Sovereign’s Theme,” “Victory,” “Uplink,” and many other compositions for the original MASS EFFECT. The ’80s inspired electronic score was lauded by critics as “One of the most memorable and unique soundtracks in gaming,” (Game Informer) and won Best Original Score awards from IGN, GameSpy and GameSpot. For MASS EFFECT 2, Sam was again tapped for his adept skill of inventive blending of analog synths with orchestral instrumentation. The soundtrack features a suitably darker and more cinematic musical experience to complement the sequel’s heavier subject matter. MASS EFFECT 2 received British Academy (BAFTA) and Spike TV VGA nominations for Best Original Score. The only composer to have worked on all three games in BioWare’s blockbuster sci-fi trilogy, Hulick’s compositions for MASS EFFECT 3 include “Mars”, several key emotional scenes in the game (“I Was Lost Without You”, “I’m Proud of You”) and the epic finale (“An End, Once And For All”). Hulick also recently provided the new original score for MASS EFFECT 3: Extended Cut. The DLC includes new and extended cinematics that feature more of the emotionally impactful material Hulick was responsible for in MASS EFFECT 3. Sam is currently scoring music for BALDUR’S GATE: Enhanced Edition.

You can visit the official PAX: Behind the Music of Blockbuster Video Games website to learn more!

Join the PAX: Behind the Music of Blockbuster Video Games Panel

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News

Inside Remake Gets New Poster and U.S. Release Date

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It’s about time.

It has been a whopping four months since we shared with you guys the red band trailer for the upcoming English language remake of Inside starring Rachel Nichols and Laura Harring.

Today we have an all-new poster for the film (via our buddies at Arrow in the Head), and the one-sheet also boasts the remake’s U.S. release date. Yes, Inside will be hitting Stateside on January 12, 2018.

You can click on the poster to the right to check it out in higher-res. After that make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’re planning to check out this remake in the comments below!

Miguel Ángel Vivas directed the Inside remake.

Produced by Adrian Guerra and Nuria Valls at Spain’s Nostromo Pictures, the remake was written by Manu Diez and [REC] creator/co-director Jaume Balaguero. “We took the original idea and made it an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more Hitchcock-ian than a splatter-fest,” said Guerra.

Again, Inside hits U.S. theaters and VOD January 12, 2018.

Synopsis:
Pregnant and depressed, a young widow tries to rebuild her life following the fateful car accident where she lost her husband and partially lost her hearing. Now, about to go into labor, she’s living in a remote house in the suburbs when, one Christmas night, she receives an unexpected visit from another woman with a devastating objective: to rip the child she’s carrying from inside her. But a mother’s fury when it comes to protecting her child should never be underestimated.

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Deep Blue Sea 2 Rated R for Creature Violence/Gore and Language

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Five months ago we shared the news that there was a secret sequel to the 1999 killer sharks vs. Tom Jane and LL Cool J movie Deep Blue Sea filming, and today we have the sequel’s rating.

And it’s about what you’d expect. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Yes, the upcoming shark attack sequel Deep Blue Sea 2 has been rated R by the MPAA for “creature violence and gore and for language.”

Not only that, but we have a few words on what we can expect from the sequel via a creative executive over at Warner Bros. named Matt Bierman.

“We are a true sequel,” Bierman said regarding the sequel. “We wanted to keep to the spirit of Deep Blue Sea and why people love it. The research that was used on the sharks in Deep Blue Sea 2 comes from the mythology and storyline of the first movie. We have given the lead shark a personality and hope the fans will embrace that as it really helps the storytelling and the narrative in a way that [the] first one didn’t. Deep Blue Sea 2 has a slightly slower build, but once the rubber band snaps, things go boom really quickly!”

The lead shark has a personality? How could that be a bad thing?

Let’s just hope there aren’t scenes of the rugged Tom Jane stand-in lovingly hugging/stroking the shark after it does something cool and telling the new guy how the shark (nicknamed Bruce) is just “misunderstood.”

…And then the shark saves everyone at the end. Called it.

The sequel is directed by Darin Scott from a screenplay by Erik Patterson, Hans Rodionoff, and Jessica Scott and stars Danielle Savre, Rob Mayes, and Michael Beach.

The movie is set to premiere on Syfy sometime next year. Once we know the exact date we’ll let us know so stay tuned!

“Deepest. Bluest. My head is like a shark’s fin…”

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Reviews

Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror

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Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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