Scarecrow’s back in Batman?


Rumor has it that Cillian Murphy is returning as the mind-bending Scarecrow in the upcoming Batman sequel, Dark Knight, despite his suggestions to the contrary. According to Super Hero Hype, one of their scoopers has spotted Murphy on set and in character as Dr. Jonathan Crane on the Chicago set of Dark Knight and filming a rooftop action scene.

“The scenes were gunfire and gang members running for cover,” SHH’s spy report begins. “Around 2:30-3ish they returned to the set and started filming 2 gangs fighting with each other. Then I spotted Cillian and they filmed him yelling at the gang. The sound of gunfire blasted and everyone ran for cover. They repeated this over and over again…So after a few takes of that… they moved to the side of the van. I saw a Batman… It had to be a stunt double. And him and Scarecrow had a struggle and ended with the crow gassing Batman. Batman fell to the ground holding his face screaming.

They were still doing takes of that when I left…about 4am.”

Likely this appearance will be little more than a cameo, but who knows? I hope that’s all it is. While I wouldn’t mind seeing the good ol’ Scarecrow one more time, it’s been proven time and time again that too many villains can (and will) ruin a superhero flick. We’ve already got the Joker, and, I suspect, at least an appearance from Two-Face. Let’s hope we don’t have 3 of my favorite villains in Comicdom ever ruined as they jostle for screen time in a drawn out shitstorm of a movie (I’m looking at you Batman & Robin, Spiderman 3!).

[Thanks Feldman!]

You gotta FIGHT! For your RIGHT! To Plaaaaaaaaaay GAMES!


I reported a couple of days ago on the BBFC and Irish Film Censor Office’s decisions to effectively ban Manhunt 2 in the United Kingdom and Ireland by refusing to rate the game, citing “casual sadism” and “callous violence”, and the ESRB’s decision to rate the game “Adults Only”. Since then, Sony and Nintendo have both reaffirmed their policies (which I was unaware of at the time of the last article) of refusing to license “AO”-rated games, or to even let them play on their systems. Universally, these boards and companies are treating this game as an imminent threat to society, and that is not an exaggeration on my part.

This should put a burr beneath the scrotum of any adult who feels that we have a certain right to decide what forms of entertainment are suitable for our own consumption. As an American, I applaud the constitutionally-enforced inability of the ESRB to ban this game, but am saddened and disturbed by Nintendo’s and Sony’s decisions to disallow games designed for responsible, mentally-capable adults. According to figures from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), sixty-nine percent of American heads of households play computer and video games, and the average gamer age is 33. Of all gamers, only 31% are under age 18, with 44% falling between 18-49 years of age, and 25% aged 50 years and over. Quick addition tells us 79% of all gamers are adults, yet these companies, boards, and committees find this adult content intolerable, and in some cases illegal. This is disheartening to me in a way I can’t begin to express to you.

But I digress. Before I lose you on this one, I wanted to share with you GAMERS FOR GAMING, a cause championed by Jim Sterling and David Houghton, two of my new favoritest tea-sipping bad-asses over at They’ve attached themselves to this story like a couple of rabid wolves may attach themselves to… another rabid wolf… attached to… freedom of expression? I dunno, metaphors aside, these guys are working on getting our thoughts and feelings across to everyone who is working to stifle our freedom to choose, the freedom of media, and the freedom of expression in art. Fight with us. Follow along. This affects us as gamers, as consumers, and as free people. It’s not a little issue. It’s not about one game, but about everything that ratings boards and law makers can take from you in the future once we start down this slippery slope. There are so many reasons to get in on this, I’ll not try to innumerate them. Get involved.

A very special thank you to the people with the voice that have taken up this torch. It’s good to see gamers getting involved in something worthwhile.

A Vampyre Story; Right-click to drink blud. Blah!


OMG OMG OMG! Old-school point-and-click with vampires? Where do I sign up?

Slated for release in fourth quarter 2007, the upcoming A Vampyre Story comes to us from the mind of Bill Tiller, founder of Autumn Moon Entertainment, and former LucasArts employee known for his work on fan favorites The Dig, Indiana Jones, and The Curse of Monkey Island. From the press release:

The point-and-click adventure game “A Vampyre Story” tells the tale of the beautiful, gifted opera singer Mona De Lafitte, whose life is brought to an abrupt end by a vampire baron named Shrowdy Von Kiefer. Henceforth, she is doomed to a miserable existence as a creature of the night in Von Kiefer’s gloomy castle in Draxsylvania. Confronted with her seemingly hopeless fate, she decides to run away and try to fulfill her dream of singing at the Paris Opera. Accompanied by her mischievous bat Froderick, Mona must face a number of challenges in her odyssey and learn not only to accept her vampire nature, but also to use the abilities she has acquired to her advantage.

Featuring over 50 hand-drawn locations and some creeped out cast members, this is certainly one I’ll be looking forward to. Check out the pics gallery for some for a few uber-huge screen shots, and read on for the full press release.
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Manhunt 2 rated AO stateside; Banned in Britain, Ireland


Once again, stuffy old people are afraid to count on free adults to distinguish for themselves the bold line between fictitious entertainment and really-real life. Low-resolution slaughterfest and high-profile hype-machine Manhunt 2 (slated for release on PS2, Wii, and PSP) is receiving the royal cold-shoulder from ratings boards across the globe, being banned so far in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and awarded the scarlet letters “AO” in the US. I’m sure the mania isn’t settled yet. Read on for the disheartening details of worldwide stupidity and my carefully formed, ojective rebuttal.

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Blockbuster Video adopts Blu-Ray exclusively, HD-DVD pouting currently


It looks like Sony got something right this generation after all. After dogging the HD-DVD format in sales during this year’s first quarter, Sony-backed Blu-ray has gained a powerful ally in the format wars. Blockbuster Video rental stores have announced that going forward they will carry Blu-ray DVD exclusively in-store, although they will continue carrying HD-DVD in 250 initial test stores and online. They report that Blu-ray accounted for 70% of rentals between the two formats. This may deal the killing stroke to HD-DVD in a valiantly fought, yet futile, battle. And if it isn’t, rumor has it Target plans to do the same soon. Oh Noes, HD-DVD!

The North American HD DVD Promotional Group (what a name) says Blockbuster is jumping the gun, and that their decision was skewed by the success of Blu-ray titles released the first 3 months of this year. That’s right, the “TNAHDDVDPG” says that Blockbuster’s decision was skewed by RATIONAL THINKING! Logic ftw!

Thank Science I didn’t buy that HD-DVD player for my Xbox 360!

Tomb Raider Anniversary going episodic on 360


Eidos Interactive has announced that their upcoming game, Tomb Raider: Anniversary will be the first ever full retail game to be serialized through Xbox Live Marketplace. The game will be split into four episodes, with episodes 1 & 2 available in September, and episodes 3 & 4 following “shortly afterwards”. All the episodes will total 2400 Live points, which I think equals $30? Stupid point system.

You know there’s a catch, though. The episodes will require the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Legend disc to play, so this nifty little distribution is only for owners of the previous Xbox 360 title. D’oh! Happily, a full retail version of the game is planned for later in the year, just in case you didn’t buy that steaming pile of crap that was Legend. Read on for the full press release.

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