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Fantastic Fest 2019 Announces the Third and Final Wave of Programming

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Fantastic Fest

Fantastic Fest 2019 is just around the corner and a week before the doors open, the festival has revealed its third and final wave of programming.

Wave three brings a ton of exciting new titles including I Lost My Body, the award-winning film from director Jérémy Clapin, Jessica Hausner’s English-language debut Little Joe and Sea Fever which is being compared to such films as Alien to The Thing to last year’s Annihilation. In addition, they’ve added the World Premiere of Random Acts of Violence, We Summon the Darkness and the North American Premiere of Keep me Company.

The festival will also be honoring the career of Japanese maestro Takashi Miike with a lifetime achievement award and a special screening of The Happiness of the Katakuris. Check out the press release and full lineup below. You can find wave one here and wave two here.

Fantastic Fest runs September 19-26. Be sure to check back as we will be covering the event once again this year.

AUSTIN, TX — September 11, 2019 — Netflix brings the US Premiere of the much-lauded I LOST MY BODY to Fantastic Fest after an award winning debut at Cannes Critics Week. From director Jérémy Clapin, this singular tale of a severed hand trying to reunite with its owner is told in a striking hand-drawn animation style and won the Cristal award at the prestigious Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

“This has been a phenomenal year in terms of filmmaking, and we are proud to be hosting so many of the year’s best filmmakers in Austin,” says Evrim Ersoy, Fantastic Fest Creative Director. “Whether first-timers or alumni, we hope to share their work with our unique audience and to help elevate their voices within the festival world and with audiences at large.”

The festival will be honoring the career of Japanese maestro Takashi Miike with a lifetime achievement award and a special screening of THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS. With over 100 films under his belt, Takashi Miike’s work has been regularly featured as part of the festival.

This year, Fantastic Fest alumni are bringing exceptional new projects to the festival. ALLÉLUIA filmmaker Fabrice du Welz returns to Austin with the North American Premiere of ADORATION, telling a story of young love gone wrong. Drafthouse Films alum Katrin Gebbe follows up her striking debut feature NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN with PELICAN BLOOD, where a mother realizes something may be very wrong with her adopted daughter. Finally, shorts filmmaker Ryan Spindell makes the jump to features with the World Premiere of his fast-paced anthology, THE MORTUARY COLLECTION.

One of the thrills of Fantastic Fest is the opportunity to see the beginning of a filmmaker’s career, and this year’s fest will feature a trio of stunning directorial debuts. In SAINT MAUD, a live-in nurse is determined to save the soul of her dying patient at any given cost. In HOMEWRECKER, polite friendship forces a young woman into a battle to the death with the growing insanity of her newly-made friend. Finally, in AMIGO, lifelong friends find their relationship turning toxic following a tragic and crippling accident.

The sea is the inspiration for a trio of films that inspire very different emotions. In SWEETHEART, a shipwrecked young woman discovers she might not be as alone as she thought. In SEA FEVER, the crew of a small shipping boat discovers their craft infected by an unknown organism. Lastly, in RIDE YOUR WAVE, a surf-obsessed young woman discovers that death might not be the final stop in her burgeoning romance with a handsome firefighter.

Fantastic Fest is known for its dedication to the horror genre, and this year’s lineup is especially strong with an array of fantastic premieres. In the World Premiere of RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE, a comic book artist finds himself the inspiration for the grisly work of a serial killer. In the World Premiere of WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS, an after-party becomes deadly grounds for survival for a group of heavy metal fans. And in the North American Premiere of KEEP ME COMPANY, a romantic weekend getaway turns sinister with unusual occurrences at a rented house.

Cinephiles with a taste for the unusual will be delighted with a trio of titles that bend styles and genres to create something wholly unique. In LITTLE JOE, a scientific discovery threatens the entire future of mankind. WYRM concerns an alternative future where a shy, dinosaur-obsessed high-schooler struggles with a unique and unusual school requirement. And finally in NIGHT DRIVE a driver finds his boring evening becoming anything but when he picks up a young woman through a ride-share app in a glorious comedy of errors.

Alongside the usual vibrant and exciting shorts programming, Fantastic Fest 2019 brings a special focus to up-and-coming genre filmmakers from Mexico in a shorts block supported by Austin’s Consulate of Mexico titled MÉXICO FANTÁSTICO. The program opens with the disquieting thriller 9:40 starring Kristyan Ferrer (SIN NOMBRE), and proceeds with a selection of fantastic shorts that run the gamut in both genre and style, including the eerie folk-horror of THE WANDERING WITCH and disturbing sci-fi drama of THE ORIGINAL by Fantastic Fest alums Sofia Carrillo and Michelle Garza Cervera respectively.

Finally, live podcast recordings are back on The Highball stage at Fantastic Fest this year, with the return of Leonard Maltin’s Maltin on Movies, Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies, and April Wolfe’s Switchblade Sisters. This year brings new additions that include Horror Queers, The Horror and 5BY5 At The Movies.

Fantastic Fest 2019 – FINAL WAVE FILM LINEUP BELOW:

Adoration
France, Belgium, 2019North American Premiere, 98 minDirector – Fabrice du Welz

Paul lives with his mother on the grounds of a mental institution and has little contact with the outside world. When Gloria’s admitted, he’s immediately fascinated by her and events take an unexpected turn.

Amigo
Spain, 2019
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Óscar Martín

After a serious car accident (for which he’s responsible), David decides to care for his best friend Javi at a remote house. It doesn’t take long until the animosity insidiously builds between them.

The Deeper You Dig
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 95 min
Directors – Toby Poser & John Adams (Co-director: Zelda Adams)

The creation of a family production team in upstate New York, this unsettling supernatural tale explores the aftermath of a roadside accident, bringing together a mother, her daughter, and a stranger in increasingly surreal circumstances.

HomeWrecker
Canada, 2019
International Premiere, 86 min
Director – Zach Gayne

Societal expectations create a pressure cooker in HOMEWRECKER, a darkly hilarious satire that plays like the best bonkers thriller Lifetime wishes they made.

I Lost My Body
France, 2019
US Premiere, 82 min
Director – Jérémy Clapin

A severed hand escapes from a laboratory and sets off on a series of adventures across Paris, determined to find its owner.

Jallikattu
India, 2019
US Premiere, 91 min|
Director – Lijo Jose Pellissery

The line between man and beast dissolves when a buffalo escapes slaughter in a sleepy South Indian village, leaving a trail of chaos and explosive machismo in its wake. It’s a landlocked JAWS, a bestial 2001, and a contemporary MAD MAX: FURY ROAD all rolled into one.

Keep Me Company
Portugal, 2019
North American Premiere, 82 min
Director – Gonçalo Almeida

Two lovers meet in a secluded country home to try to heal their relationship without distraction, but the property’s pool has other mysterious intentions.

Little Joe
Austria, United Kingdom, Germany, 2019
Sneak Preview, 105 min
Director – Jessica Hausner

A genetically modified scarlet flower has mood-enhancing antidepressant effects on its owners, which become increasingly alarming as its influence spreads in this body snatchers for the drugged-out millennium.

The Mortuary Collection
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 108 min
Director – Ryan Spindell

A young girl enters a secret room in a mortuary and learns the backstory of the mortician’s favorite deaths in this twisted anthology by Fantastic Fest alum Ryan Spindell.

Night Drive
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 82 min
Directors – Meghan Leon & Bradford Baruh

When Russell picks up an enigmatic young woman through a ride-share app, his boring evening perks up. But all bets are off after they hit a guy with the car in this charming comedy of errors.

The Other Lamb
Ireland, Belgium, USA, 2019
US Premiere, 97 min
Director – Malgorzata Szumowska

Selah lives with her mothers and sisters in a mysterious cult led by Shepherd. When she begins to question his teachings, it threatens to destroy the very nature of their existence.

Pelican Blood
Germany, Bulgaria, 2019
US Premiere, 121 min
Director – Katrin Gebbe

German acting treasure Nina Hoss headlines Katrin Gebbe’s (NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN) sophomore feature about a single mother who adopts — and won’t give up on — a troubled little girl with a horrific past.

Random Acts of Violence
Canada, 2019
World Premiere, 80 min
Director – Jay Baruchel

A comic book writer visits the town where a serial killer previously wreaked havoc, only to encounter a new series of murders that strangely mirror the deaths he created in his comics.

Ride Your Wave
Japan, 2019
US Premiere, 96 min
Director – Masaaki Yuasa

Surf-loving college student Hinako crosses paths with Minato, a handsome firefighter, but a tragedy will change all they know to be true.

Saint Maude
United Kingdom, 2019
US Premiere, 83 min
Director – Rose Glass

While caring for an attractive woman dying of cancer, devoutly religious nurse Maud develops an all-encompassing case of holy possession mixed with real-life obsession.

Sea Fever
Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, 2019
US Premiere, 91 min
Director – Neasa Hardiman

The crew aboard a West of Ireland fishing trawler marooned at sea fall victim to a gradually spreading parasite in their water supply.

Sweetheart
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 82 min
Director – J.D. Dillard

After a storm at sea leaves her stranded on a deserted island, Jenn gathers all her strength to find ways to survive. But when night falls, Jenn discovers that the island isn’t as deserted as she might have thought… or hoped.

We Summon the Darkness
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Marc Meyers

When Val, Beverly, and Alexis meet a group of fun-loving dudes in the parking lot of a heavy metal concert, they all decide to have an after-party, but it isn’t long before the group finds themselves fighting for their lives.

WYRM
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 106 min
Director – Christopher Winterbauer

In a strangely futuristic yet analog alternate universe, a lonely, dinosaur-obsessed youth struggles to complete a unique school requirement or risk being held back and enduring a lifetime of embarrassment.

Humans by birth. Gamers by choice.Goomba Stomp is a Canadian web publication that has been independently owned and operated since its inception in 2016.

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‘The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series’ Review: A Bittersweet Swan Song for Telltale’s Defining Game Series

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When Telltale Games released The Walking Dead game back in 2012, there was no telling as to how the point and click interactive adventure game was going to be received. But the game became more than just a success. It became a critically acclaimed and commercially successful phenomenon that transformed Telltale Games into an A-list game development studio overnight. Winning countless awards- including a huge amount of Game of The Year awards from various publications– The Walking Dead proved that games that focus on delivering engaging narratives and well-developed characters can be just as good as big and bombastic games. However, the closure of Telltale Games in September 2018 meant that several projects were cancelled and The Walking Dead: The Final Season, which had just released its second episode, was suddenly thrown into a state of uncertainty. With the fans desperately wanting to complete Clementine’s story, Skybound Games stepped in, took on the challenge, and managed to finish the series with the critically acclaimed final episodes. Now, a year later, a compilation of all the games has been released and it’s a huge accomplishment. There is a sense of achievement surrounding this collection and whilst it is not without issues, it is a perfect package for fans of The Walking Dead as well as a poignant ending of an era.

Unused concept art of Clementine’s house doesn’t go to waste as it acts as the setting for the main menu.

The Definitive Series is a collection of all four seasons of Telltale’s The Walking Dead as well as the Michonne miniseries and the 400 Days DLC, plus a ton of new bonus material and additional features. A short documentary on how Skybound Games saved The Final Season is available as are developer commentaries from some of the cast and developers of the games for some various episodes. There is also an art viewer which shows off concept art from all the seasons and a character viewer where you can look through various character models and animations as well as listen to voice lines from across the series. The final bonus feature is a music player, which allows you to listen to Jared Emerson Johnson’s origianl score from each season. The bonus content is definitely a must-have for diehard fans of the series such. The ten-minute film The Return of The Walking Dead is a short but fascinating look into Telltale’s rise and fall and the effect it had on the staff as well as the fans. The developer commentaries also provide an insight into the game that fans would not otherwise have. For instance, the voicemail from Clementine’s mother Diana in the first episode of Season One is revealed in the commentary to have been the audition tape for actress Rebecca Schweitzer. They found her performance so impressive that they did not ask her to record any more dialogue for the role of Diana. Instead, they used the audition in the finished game as well as in the trailer for the game. It is little facts like this that I found really fun to hear when listening to the commentaries. The art viewer provides some brilliant concept pieces from the team behind the artwork of the games. It also gives an insight into some scrapped ideas. There is concept art for an unused gym setting in Ericson Boarding School from The Final Season as well as a dilapidated version of Clementine’s house. The house concept gets some use in the form of the menu for The Definitive Series, but a return to Clementine’s home could have been a fascinating addition to the game. The character viewer is definitely fun to play around with too as you can mix up voice lines and animations to create some weird and wonderful sights. My personal favourite animations are the Rosie model with AJ riding on her back and the updated Lee model with AJ perched on his shoulders, joyously shooting a machine gun. The music player is a great addition as well as Emerson-Johnson’s score hasn’t been readily available since now (except the music from Season One which was previously released as an album). It’s great if you want to let the music play in the background but one problem I did find is that you can’t jump from one song to the next automatically. All the songs have to be selected manually so you cannot let the albums play out. Despite this, the music player is still a good addition to the collection.

One of the most noticeable features of The Definitive Series is the improvement to the graphics. After playing through the first episode of Season One, the graphics update is incredibly noticeable. The world looks crisper and clearer, with more attention paid to background details that were barely noticeable when the game first released in 2012. For instance, when in the drugstore that is owned by Lee’s family, you can clearly see the pictures on the wall in the background and you can read the signs dotted around the drugstore easily. It is a nice touch that makes the world more believable and immersive. There is also more shading included, mirroring the style of the comic books even more than it already did. The improved visuals are very similar to the visuals in The Final Season, with more detail put into the aforementioned comic book style. It greatly enhances the experience of playing the game, adding more depth and elegance.

There is a significant improvement to the graphics in the remastered version of Season One.

The game isn’t without its problems. The release on the PlayStation 4, the platform on which I played it, was marred with a wealth of technical problems. The only working parts of the PS4 version when it first released was the art viewer, director commentaries and music player. The character viewer did not work at all and neither did the actual games (obviously the most important part). To be blunt, the PS4 version was pretty much broken upon release. Skybound Games has since released a patch to fix the issues, but my download of this patch took me an entire day. I wasn’t able to actually play the game until three days after I received it. This was incredibly frustrating but kudos to Skybound Games for acknowledging the problem quite quickly and keeping PS4 players informed of the patch progress.  The actual game also has some technical bugs and glitches and they are the sort that has come to be expected from Telltale titles. Awkward lip-syncing, dead-eyed characters and jarring animations are still present but I also got some new issues such as dialogue suddenly cutting off or characters missing out half of their voice lines. Although these kinds of glitches are known in these games, I am disappointed that these couldn’t be fixed in The Definitive Series. The game may look better, but it still has numerous hiccups that can take you out of the experience.

The player can listen to music from all four seasons as well as the mini-series and DLC. The music player in Clementine’s pool is a also a nice touch!

Despite the technical hitches and the broken PlayStation release, The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series is a must-have for hard-core fans of the game series. The behind the scenes insights are interesting for those invested in these titles and the various art and music available can make you truly appreciate the hard work that went into creating this world and these characters. Admittedly, The Definitive Series has little to offer to those who aren’t aware of the series or for casual fans who already own the games. That being said, there is a community of fans out there (myself included) who have loved and supported Telltale and The Walking Dead game for years who were genuinely devastated by the studio closure. It is those fans who will get the most out of this collection. The game encapsulates a nine-year journey and it is a bittersweet sendoff to the series and to Clementine, who we have seen grow throughout the series. No matter whether Telltale Games makes a comeback or not, the studio will always be remembered for this defining title which introduced us to Lee, Clementine and A.J and made us care about their struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.  The Definitive Series marks the end of The Walking Dead Game– and the end of Telltale Games as it once was- and although the ending is certainly bittersweet, it is wrapped up nicely with this collection.

Somewhere in a much happier alternate reality…

The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Edition is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows.

Can’t get enough of The Walking Dead? Season nine of the popular AMC television show is available now on Blu-ray and DVD in the US and will be available on September 30th on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK. The show will be returning for its tenth season on AMC on October 6th, 2019

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Introducing ‘Ring Fit Adventure,’ Nintendo’s Exercise Action Adventure for Switch

Nintendo’s “new experience” for Switch is ‘Ring Fit Adventure’, an unusual, ring-filled, and exercise-focused take on the action adventure genre

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Ring Fit Adventure

Last week, Nintendo teased a mysterious “new experience” for Switch. In our first report on it, we jokingly asked, “Why can’t this be an open world, motion-controlled yoga rhythm action game?”

It turns out that we weren’t too far from the truth.

Nintendo has now fully revealed this new experience to be Ring Fit Adventure, an exercise-focused title that “turns a typical adventure game on its head as players squat, press and flex their way through challenges designed for a wide range of body types and levels of fitness experience.” To make this unique exercise gameplay possible, players attach their Joy-con to the new Ring-con accessory, “a flexible electronic device that provides resistance, and uses the Joy-Con to respond to the player’s movements.”

Ring Fit Adventure is more than just another motion-controlled exercise game. Instead, it’s a full-fledged adventure, complete with a story, a world to explore, and RPG elements. Nick Chavez, Nintendo’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said that “Ring Fit Adventure combines gaming and physical activity in a way that incentivizes people to keep coming back for more, to further both the story and their own fitness goals.”

Beyond the adventure mode, there’s also plenty of other modes focused primarily on simple exercise. There’s sets of exercises tailored specifically to individual body parts, along with some general practice routines as well. There’s even a “Silent” mode, which emphasizes quieter movements to ensure that apartment-dwellers don’t drive all their downstairs neighbors insane.

Overall, it’s certainly an extremely unique project. Check it out in all of its active, exercise-filled glory in the full reveal trailer below.

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Prepare to Be Even More Creeped Out by Hideo Kojima’s ‘P.T.’

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A recently uncovered secret from Hideo Kojima’s P.T. (standing for playable teaser) revealed that the player is constantly being closely followed by the ghost known as Lisa, who is looming in the background of the game. Creepy right?

P.T. –– a collaboration between video game legend Hideo Kojima and film wizard Guillermo del Toro — was released back in 2014 and was intended to act as an interactive teaser for the game Silent Hills. Silent Hills was going to be the next installment in the Silent Hill horror game series, but unfortunately this never came to pass. A falling out between Kojima and publisher Konami led to the cancellation of Silent Hills. Fans of P.T. and the Silent Hill series were left disheartened by this decision due to the strong performance of P.T. and how promising it looked in terms of visuals, scares and story. The cancellation also led to P.T. being removed from the PlayStation Store, with any opportunity to download the game being lost. Only those who had already downloaded the teaser were able to play it and this led to even more intrigue on the hidden secrets concealed within the game. Indie developer Lance McDonald decided to delve further into the game and by using a camera hack, revealed the creepy ghost stalker.

The game itself focuses on a man attempting to escape from a freakish house with seemingly never-ending corridors. The player does have an encounter with Lisa in the game towards the end but they are also plagued by eerie noises and spooky shadows that approach from behind. McDonald’s discovery shows that Lisa is the culprit of all the hardships throughout, attaching herself to the player’s back as soon as they pick up the flashlight in the bathroom.

Check out Lance’s Twitter for more details on his creepy find as well as video clips if you really want to ramp up the nightmare fuel.

I wasn’t planning on sleeping tonight anyway.

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Check Out the Real Moves Behind the Tricks in ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater’

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Tony Hawk

When it first launched back in 1999, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater inspired a generation of wannabe skaters with its sense of cool action and its iconic soundtrack. We even ranked it as one of the absolute best game of the 1990s, calling it “a remnant of an era when the millennium was young, life was rad, the future was irrelevant, and goofing off was life.”

To celebrate the game’s 20th anniversary, Tony Hawk himself has recently revisited it and shared some details about its creation. Perhaps the most surprising tidbit he shared was the revelation that the development team actually used motion capture to attempt to recreate his signature skating tricks.

As can be seen in the Twitter video, Hawk was geared up in a full motion capture suit while performing some of his showiest moves. Unfortunately, he says that none of this actually made it into the final product, due to time constrictions near the end of development.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater released twenty years ago for the original PlayStation, where it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. To understand just how big of a deal it was (and still is), check out our retrospective piece.

[via Kotaku]

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Retro Remastered Disney Classics Coming This Fall

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More nostalgia is on the way for fans of classic Disney games with a recent announcement confirming that two of the biggest-and most challenging- classic games in the Disney bank, The Lion King and Aladdin, will be making a remastered return this year.

The Lion King and Aladdin both had live action remakes released this year which did incredibly well at the box office, with both titles raking in over a billion worldwide. It makes sense that Disney would want to grab hold of our already rampant nostalgia by bringing back more of our childhood in a different medium. The two games, both of which were originally released in 1994, will come together in one package under the title Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King. The games will have high definition, updated graphics and all a variety of all new features.

Visually, the game will have special filters for the player to choose from as well as the previously mentioned updated to the graphics on top of the original game build. These should help bring the games into the world of twenty first century gaming whilst maintaining the originality and retro feel that we remember so fondly. Sega Genesis, Game Boy and Super Game Boy versions of both Aladdin and The Lion King and will be available to play in the new collection as well as the Super Nintendo version of The Lion King . New features are aplenty in the collection too. The Interactive Game Viewer will let players watch the game play and jump in at any time whereas the Rewind feature lets you go back to certain parts of the game and try again. I’ll be spending most of my time rewinding the Cave of Wonders level in Aladdin and the Elephant Graveyard level in The Lion King. On top of that, there will also be some behind the scenes content to explore, including a tradeshow demo of Aladdin never released since its debut in 1993. This will also include concept art, music and interviews that die hard and casual fans alike are sure to enjoy.

If this release is successful, it could lead to a plethora of nostalgic Disney titles being released under a whole franchise of Disney Classic Games (Toy Story 2 and Mickey’s Wild Adventure on the PlayStation One would be awesome additions). Despite the recent criticism of the live action Disney remake movies, I think we can all agree that these are the sort of remakes that we would be happy for Disney to give us.

Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and the Lion King will be released on October 29th for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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