Angels and “demons”: did aliens really contact saints?

Depictions of UFOs in Christian churches and pictures since the 11th century

Reading time 4 minutes

Did the humans descend from Adam and Eve? Not quite, some of the researchers say. We can see an increasing amount of assertions and so-called “facts” that human beings are under the control of aliens.  Some ufologists state that extraterrestrials allegedly contact some of us. However, the Church’s official representatives do not just reject all these statements but even a theoretical possibility of such kind of “interaction” between a man and “beings from other planets and not just”. Why does the Church with so much vigor try to “retain its monopoly” on the Human Origins?

2014 almost the whole scientific community was curious about an unusual finding. A strange fresco with a supposedly depicted flying saucer was found in a Romanian church. Moreover, the same kind of enigmatic inscription from the Bible was written at the bottom of the image in German: “Israel hoffe auf den herrn” (“O Israel, hope in the Lord”). Apart of a flying saucer, in this story we face 2 more additional mysterious facts:

  1. The fresco dates from the 14th century and there is an original line in German, although Bible was translated by Martin Luther only in 1522.
  2. At that time there lived the ruler of Wallachia Vlad II who was father of Vlad the Impaler also known as Vlad Dracula.
Biserica Manastirii, or Church of the Dominican Monastery, in the town of Sighisoara, Romania (14th century)
Biserica Manastirii, or Church of the Dominican Monastery, in the town of Sighisoara, Romania (14th century)

One more similar discovery happened in 2017 in Georgia. There, during the reconstruction of the church, scientists found the mural painting of 12 apostles and Jesus during the crucifixion dating from the 11th century. At the top of the picture one may see 2 unknown flying objects which resemble alien spaceships.

"Crucifixion of Jesus" on the walls of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Georgia (11th century)
“Crucifixion of Jesus” on the walls of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Georgia (11th century)

Two other images of the Jesus’ crucifixion with flying saucers being present are the “Crucifixion of Christ” in the monastery Visoki Decani dating from the 14th century and a picture “La Tebaide” created  by Paolo Uccello (1396-1475) .

“Crucifixion of Christ” in the monastery Visoki Decani, Kosovo (14th century)
“Crucifixion of Christ” in the monastery Visoki Decani, Kosovo (14th century)
“La Tebaide” Paolo Uccello (1396-1475)
“La Tebaide” Paolo Uccello (1396-1475)   

So, what do the Church’s officials say about the “extraterrestrial contact” and existence of other civilizations beyond Solar system?

Regardless of being Orthodox and Catholics, Jews or Evangelicals priests are convinced that all the information from so-called witnesses is nothing else as a part of their vivid imaginations, nightmares or even a proof of their sinfulness and connection with the devil.

One of the most logic explanations of such kind of Church servants’ reaction is just a lack of this sort of information in holy scriptures. The Church fears to lose its impact on people, its dominating presence in people’s life in terms of accepting the fact of existence of more developed and powerful forces. It fears to get a lower rank position in people’s world outlook and as a consequence a loss of its respect and authority.

"Baptism of Christ" Aert De Gelder (1645-1727)
“Baptism of Christ” Aert De Gelder (1645-1727)

Anyway, it looks a bit illogical from priests’ side that in view of the absence of information they do preserve only a negative attitude regarding flying saucers as they are depicted in temples near saints and not in a “hostile” way. Why in case of their existence cannot they be helpful to us?

A good example of it is a depiction of Moses receiving commandments from God. It is a world-famous fresco which is placed on one of the walls of the Belgian Cathedral Conti Dotremond.

A painting on wood near the castle Conti Dotremond, Belgium. Moses is receiving the tablets. Date and artist unknown
A painting on wood near the castle Conti Dotremond, Belgium. Moses is receiving the tablets. Date and artist unknown

It depends on you whether believe or not in aliens and their possible “visits” to our planet but in no case we have a right to accuse somebody to be inadequate, mentally ill or “linked to the Lucifer” as it sometimes happens. Nevertheless, we should not trust everyone who has seen “them” as too many people create stories for different reasons.

Theatricality in Cinema

What is the relationship between these two arts

Reading time 4 minutes

What makes the languages of theater and cinema so different but at the same time so good complement each other?

Perhaps the most obvious difference between the cinema and theater is that the first one is fragmented. To achieve the desired effect, the director can use many takes – he has a few chances to «replay» the planned. But the viewer has no opportunity to «touch» the action. Film production and the process of consumption of the finished product by the viewer are separated in time.

«Stop! Cut!»

On the contrary, theatrical processes are continuous. The performance implies constant interaction with the viewer, who acts as a «creator». The degree of influence of production depends mainly on the audience involvement, its concentration on what is happening «here and now».

The theater is the art of reflecting (c) Konstantin Stanislavsky

The degree of the conventionality of both cinema and theater is closely connected with communication (mainly non-verbal) between actors and audience. The emotional connection of the viewer is a necessary condition. The theater aims to unite actors and spectators in a single spiritual effort. But both cinema and theater strive to lead us to a state of “secondary belief” – appealing to our personal experiences, associations, and feelings. We empathize with the characters, project the events and behavior of the characters on themselves, interpret meanings, and rethink what we see.

Another important feature is the illusion of reality, and in cinema, it is much higher than in the theater. The director is able to recreate almost any historical epoch, and modern technology makes this task much easier. In the theater, all «special effects» are built-in, and the main mechanisms of influence are the actor’s mimicry and scenery. Spatial restrictions (stage frames) also have an effect.

Cinema should make the viewer forget that he is sitting in the movie (c) Roman Polanski

There are films that are on the verge of theater and cinema. «Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead»(1990, directed by Tom Stoppard) and «Anna Karenina» (2012, directed by Joe Wright) are interpretations of classics in which the artistic possibilities of theater and cinema complement each other.

In the first of them, the techniques of anachronism, demonstrative violation of sequence and visual citation (these resources give the cinema) are combined with the involvement of the heroes-observers in the course of the action: the world for them at some point becomes theater, they move to the stage, in the heart of Shakespeare’s «Hamlet» – so there is an external conditionality (theatrical feature).

There are two ways to become an artist. The first is to do what everyone thinks is art. Second: to make everyone think that what you are doing is art (c) Tom Stoppard

In the second – we meet the excessive acting mimicry and live plasticity, striking the splendor of scenery (the illusion of the place) with the effect of «behind the scenes» (in the design of the back of the stage).

Shootings of the film “Anna Karenina” (2012, directed by Joe Wright)

Another interesting example is «The Hateful Eight» (2015). Quentin Tarantino borrows from the theater a method of narrative division into acts: the film consists of chapters, each of which becomes our «guide» in a confusing, dark, and bloody story. Interesting here is the mise-en-scene transferred from theatricality, designed to reflect all the components of the inner life of the heroes, resulting in a struggle between them – both on the moral and ethical as well as physical levels.

«They don’t come here without a good reason»…

The theater has something to offer to the film industry – the possibilities of its language, if used by the director correctly and appropriately, are really able to make a film brighter visually and deeper – in the sense.

Entertainment for everyone

Amazing free activities in Moscow

Reading time 5 minutes

A weekend in Moscow does not necessarily consists of expensive activities. These are several amazing weekend options that will cost you nothing.

  1. TV-show filming 

    «Vecherny Urgant»

In the “Ostankino” broadcast center you can take part in the filming of various tv-shows: “Modny Prigovor”(The Fashion Verdict), “Zhit’ zdorovo”(Life is beautiful), “Pust’ govoryat”(Let them speak) and others. As a part of the audience, you may be paid from 500 to 100o rub. Such experience will enable you to see the process of filming and, if you are lucky enough, get on the screen.

Taking part in the filming of the “Vecherny Urgant” (The late-night show with Urgant) will not give you any money. In this case the audience is not just extras, they are the guests of the show. You will see Russian and international stars and will be given an opportunity to make a selfie with Ivan Urgant. Before  filming and between takes the audience is entertained by the co-host Dmitry Hrustalev.

Send your request to the show’s email if you want to see the film magic. In this request you are supposed to write your ID number (passport) and briefly explain why you are the one to be chosen. Announcements of the guests of the week and the rules of the show can be found in the VK group. 

2. Depending on interests

Afisha.ru, KudaGo and Timepad

In Moscow there are many free exhibitions, lectures, workshops, performances, open film screenings. Lifestyle and entertainment websites may be useful while planning one’s weekend.

On Timepad all reviews and announcements are brought by the organizers of events. Generally they are not writing about global events, but inform about small meetings and seminars. There are plenty of options on this website and everyone is able to find something appealing. 

KudaGo and Afisha.ru work in the same way, but there you can find information about more grand events. These resources don’t have a“free event”filter, so you have to search for them specifically.

3. Museums

«The art of the 20-th century» In the new building of Tretyakovskaya gallery

In Moscow there are a number of museums that don’t require visitors to pay at all. For example, “Bulgakov’s house”, the museum of metro and the museum of Russian icon. Other places have “free entrance” days: every Wednesday for the “Art of the 20-th century” exhibition in the New building of Tretyakovskaya gallery, every friday from 17 to 21 pm for the Garage museum. However, you must register in advance if you want to go  to Garage for free. Every Thursday at 19:00 25 free tickets are released. For up-to-date information, please, head to the official website.

State museums that are managed by the Moscow department of culture take part in the “Moscow museum week”. On every third week of the month around 80 museums open for a free entrance. Some of them are the GULAG museum, the Cosmonautics museum, the Marina Tsvetaeva house, “Novyi Manezh”, the Moscow museum of modern art.

Many museums don’t charge students. You can visit the Vladimir Vysotski museum, Moscow united park-museum ( it includes Kolomenskoe, Izmailovo, Lublini). If you are a student, you can visit the Tretyakov gallery on the first and second Sunday of the month.

Moscow-city  

You don’t need a lot of money to spend an unforgettable weekend. Additionally to the places mentioned above, there are also many parks and  public spaces that do not require their visitors to pay. If the Gorky park and Zaryadie seem dull already, check out the unique places for a stroll.

 

Google Stadia is at the failure stage

Why does the company fail to gain a foothold in the gaming market?

Reading time 5 minutes

About a year ago, on March 19, one of the world’s largest media corporations named Google announced the upcoming entry into the video game market. The company launched the Google Stadia game platform, something new in this area. The main feature that the creators of Stadia noted was the full focused of the new product on cloud gaming. This reminds Netflix analogue in video games: with a monthly paid subscription, the user gets access to the games in the platform’s library. At the same time he or she has an opportunity to connect within any device without downloading the games themselves. High resolution quality is guaranteed. A stable Internet connection and Google Chrome browser are required. At the announcement stage, Stadia looked interesting and seemed to be quite different from the market leaders (Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch). But everything changed dramatically six months later.

Никто не любит жадность
No one loves greed

The release of Google Stadia took place on November 19, 2019 and turned out to be disappointing. The main object of criticism was the general technical unavailability of the platform: the first buyers noted that the games work with significant glitches and are far from 4K resolution, as was promised at the announcement. In addition, many users were outraged by the Google pricing policy: the subscription costs $ 10 per month; Chromecast Ultra prefix, which includes a controller in Night Blue color, a Chromecast Ultra adapter, a three-month subscription for two and a Destiny 2 game costs $ 130; at the same time, the average price for a game will be similar to those of Sony, Microsoft and Xbox – $ 60. The current generation consoles for all Google competitors are about $ 500. There is also a monthly subscription worth about $ 7, but exclusively for online games. For single players (story games that a gamer can play alone) this subscription is not needed, as well as the Internet connection in general. This reveals another problem: users of Stadia are very dependent on the work of the company’s internal servers: if they crash, all game progress will not be saved. Another important obstacle, partially due to the preceding paragraphs, is the quantity of games. There were only 22 games in the Google start library, after 3 months of the service’s existence only 6 more were added. 28 games is an extremely small number for a company which is trying to become a full-fledged player in the market. Moreover, among these games there is not a single exclusivity. These are games that can only be played on one console, one of the most compelling reasons to buy one. At the moment, the PlayStation is a leader in the gaming industry thanks to exclusives such as the Uncharted series, The Last of Us, God of War, Bloodborne and many others. The Xbox has a series of Halo and Quantum Break, the Switch has Mario and Zelda. Stadia has nothing. The reason is Google itself: after the release, the company weakly supports the project (6 new games in 3 months to confirm). Accordingly, the audience, which was already relatively small, is beginning to decline. Therefore, game developers have no motivation to conclude exclusive production contracts with Google, because they still will not pay off in the current platform state.

За годы существования Google всего "умерло" 198 проектов
Over the years of Google’s existence, 198 projects have “died

Thus, Stadia is a vivid example of how an excellent idea can be ruined by poor technical performance and the lack of a clear PR strategy. The future of the project looks uncertain. It is unlikely that anyone will be surprised if he soon replenishes the “Google Cemetery“.

The audience is prepared for the uncharted

Will the authors of Uncharted be able to change the idea of video game film adaptation?

Reading time 6 minutes

On March 2, it was officially announced that actor Antonio Banderas will play a role in the film “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune”. The action-adventure Uncharted movie will be the first part of the famous game series transfer to the big screen, an exclusive console of Sony PlayStation. The first game in 2007 was released by Naughty Dog, which was known for its Crash Bandicoot platformer series at that time. Immediately after the release, “Drake’s Fortune” received a very warm welcome from critics and gamers. IGN news portal recognized the game as the best one on PS3 in 2007. All subsequent parts of the series, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End were also ranked among the best games of 2009, 2011 and 2016, respectively. They were also included in the best games of both decades list. As well as another game from Naughty Dog – “The Last of Us”. Its sequel is upsetting the gamers due to constant delays.

Том Холланд будет играть Нейтана Дрейка
Tom Holland will play Nathan Drake
Nathan Drake
А Марк Уолберг - Виктора Салливана
And Mark Wahlberg will play Victor Sullivan
Виктор Салливан. Как по-вашему, похожи?
Victor Sullivan. Do you think they look alike?

From the very beginning, the film had many problems. The project was discussed for a long time due to the popularity of Uncharted, but went to the production hell: over the past years, 5 directors have been changed. Now it is headed by Ruben Fleischner, the creator of two parts of Zombieland  comedy horror and Venom comic book. Actors of the main roles are also well-known: the adventurer Nathan Drake will be played by Tom Holland, a current Spider-Man performer in the Marvel studio film, and his friend and mentor Victor Sullivan will be played by two-time Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg. What role was prepared for Banderas, is not yet reported. Initially, the premiere was planned to be at the end of 2020, but was postponed to March 5, 2021.

Марк Уолберг уже снимался в экранизации игры - фильме "Макс Пэйн" 2008 года
Mark Wahlberg has already starred in the 2008 film adaptation of Max Payne

The fundamental problem of the upcoming film is its format. Quite a few video games were adequately adapted into the movies. Still, a game and a film are fundamentally different cultures and ways of entertainment. In the movie, the creators are not able to embody the gameplay that they took as a basis. Spectators cannot control characters on the screen. Accordingly, they need to be entertained with the story, but it is extremely difficult to adapt it correctly, again because of the difference in formats: modern story games last 30 hours in average, which need to fit into 90-120 minutes of a cinema slot. For these reasons, game film adaptations usually suffer from a bad scenario. Authors try either to depart from the canon and thus violate the logic of the world, or, on the contrary, try to follow the original source, which makes the film look secondary. The producer’s reckoning is primarily based on original fans. They want to go to the movies and are able to recoup the production. It really works like this quite often but one of the last known examples – “Assassin’s Creed” (2016) raised $ 240 million with a budget of 125. It is regarded as a box office failure. After that, the flow of movies based on games was temporarily stopped in Hollywood. Let’s see whether the film about Nathan Drake will return interest in the segment.

Mulan is affected by coronavirus

Disney premiere may be delayed

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 29, the popular American mass culture news aggregator Comic Book reported that Disney did not approve the rental plan for its new “Mulan” movie in China. The picture was supposed to be released in late March, but now it is highly likely that the premiere of the picture in the Middle Kingdom will be postponed indefinitely. The main reason is an outbreak of coronavirus, which still cannot be controlled. The performer of the leading role, Liu Yifei, a native of Wuhan, the city where the epidemic started, spoke about the situation: “People are doing everything right. They cherish themselves and others. It is very scary to see that they have not left the house for weeks. I hope that a miracle will happen and everything will soon be behind.”

Пример диснеевского ремейка - "Король Лев". Слева версия 1994 года, справа - 2019
An example of a Disney remake is The Lion King. 1994 version on the left, 2019 on the right

This situation can bring huge losses to Disney. The corporation has already announced significant financial losses after the temporary closure of two theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong – more than $ 150 million per quarter. In addition, the situation with Mulan is special, because the movie was obviously made with the expectation of a great profit from the Chinese audience: the plot is based on the medieval Chinese ballad about the girl Hua Mulan, who went to war with the Huns instead of her father, pretending to be a man. The film is part of a series of numerous “Disney remakes” of popular cartoons from the 80s and 90s with living actors like Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin, or photorealistic animations like The Jungle Book and The Lion King. All previous remakes, despite critical reviews and accusations of secondary nature, repeatedly recouped their production budgets. “Mulan” should not have been an exception, especially given the enormous budget: according to rough estimates, it is about $ 300 million, which makes “Mulan” one of the most expensive movies in history. For comparison, the largest budget ($ 365 million) came from last year’s blockbuster Avengers: Final.

Поцелуй из оригинального мультфильма. Вроде очень милый и не пошлый...
A kiss from the original cartoon. It seems to be very cute and not vulgar …

The creators faced certain problems even until the film transfer. For example, due to the massive military scenes, the picture received an age rating of PG-13 (13+), becoming the first Disney remake with such indicator. PG is considered to be the standard rating for studio films (6+ with parental recommendation). In addition, after the pre-screening, Chinese viewers demanded to cut the scene of the main character’s kiss with Li Shang, a military commander, considering it vulgar and unchaste. As a result, the creators decided to completely remove the character of Li Sang, considering his relationship with Mulan not corresponding to the era of #MeToo. Besides the Chinese criticized the historical inaccuracies of the movie: for example, the Mulan family lives in the adobe house “Tulou”. In reality, they began to be built only a thousand years after the events described in the film.

IPhones are only for the good guys

An interesting feature of Apple products usage in the cinematography

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 26, Vanity Fair, an American magazine in the field of politics, culture, fashion and film, published another video interview on its Youtube channel (more than 2 million subscribers).  This interview was conducted by Ryan Johnson, a popular filmmaker. First of all, he is known as the creator of the science-fiction film “Loopers” and the 8th episode of the Star Wars movie saga, “Last Jedi”. In a 23-minute long video, Johnson talked about his last movie, “Knives Out”. A detective drama tape was released last September (in Russia on November 28) and received rave reviews from critics (97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and extremely positive reviews from viewers (a rating of 8.0 on IMDB). In addition, the film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Screenplay category. Financially, “Knives Out” also became successful: with a budget of $ 40 million, he raised 306. In the beginning of 2020, it was announced that Johnson is already working on a continuation of the picture. He is planning to release it before the end of 2021. The plot of the first part tells the story of Benoit Blanc, a detective, who is investigating the mysterious murder of the famous author of crime novels Harlan Tromby. Hollywood star actors such as Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Jamie Lee Curtis have performed in the movie.

Райан Джонсон раскрыл секрет Apple
Ryan Johnson revealed Apple’s secret

The interview instantly became popular due to Johnson revealing of a rather interesting secret: it turns out that Apple, whose products and accessories are regularly featured in movies and TV shows, prohibits negative characters to use them. Indeed, the real killer in “Knives Out” does not use anything related to Apple, unlike some suspects who ultimately turn out to be innocent. Johnson noted with humor that all other detective directors would probably want to kill him because of the exposure of this fact. And not only detective directors: now, watching any Hollywood movie, you can know in advance who is the villain and who is not. If the character in the frame uses Iphone, MacBook, AirPods and any other Apple products, then he or she is, by definition, a positive character. Thus, the company avoids negative associations with its products. According to representatives of the American CNBC channel, not only Apple has such a reverent attitude to the perception of their products by viewers. This is also true, for example, for manufacturers of various food products. It is unlikely that the company will like the fact that something with the label of its brand is thrown into the bin or broken into pieces in the frame.

Самые популярные бренды дорожат своей репутацией даже в кино
The most popular brands value their reputation even in the movies

 

“Ice 2” has broken

The fees of the new film with Alexander Petrov reached a billion rubles

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 14, Valentine’s Day, “Ice 2” was released in cinemas – a continuation of the melodramatic musical of 2018 with Alexander Petrov, Aglaia Tarasova and Maria Aronova in the lead roles. The film companies “Hydrogen” and Art Pictures Studio, which are part of the National Media Group, were engaged in the creation and promotion of the film. And now we can say that they have done a very high-quality work to promote the picture: after 10 days, it has already submitted a billion rubles to the box office. Thus, “Ice 2” was included in the list of 14 Russian films that achieved such success at the box office. Earlier, more than a billion rubles were collected by the first part of “Ice”, as well as the films “Serf”, “Stalingrad”, “Crew”, “Irony of Fate. Continuation ”,“ Viking”,“ Fir-trees 3 ”,“ Wii 3D ”,“ Attraction ”,“ Last hero ”,“ Policeman from Rublevka. New Year’s lawlessness ”,“ Upward Movement ”and“ T-34 ”. In addition, “Ice 2” set a record for fees on the first day – 193 million rubles, leaving behind the “T-34” with an indicator of 114 million rubles. However, for the first weekend, the military action figure still collected more than the sequel of “Ice”: 713 million rubles against 610 million rubles. The novelty set its first record even before the release in theaters. Preliminary ticket sales amounted to about 72 million rubles. For comparison, with the first part, this indicator amounted to approximately 18 million rubles, and with the “Serf” it increased to only 9 million rubles.

Премьера "Лед 2
Premiere of “Ice 2”

There are several reasons for such success. First of all, the first “Ice”, which collected more than 1.5 billion rubles at the box office, made the continuation only a matter of time. First of all, Alexander Petrov is at the peak of popularity. “T-34”, “Text”, “Attraction”, “Invasion”, “Ice”, “Gogol” and the series “Call DiCaprio!” – this is an incomplete list of hits of the last 3 years, where Petrov has always been in the foreground . It is worth noting the change of director: instead of Oleg Trofim, who shot the first part, the sequel was led by Zhora Kryzhovnikov, the author of such box-office successful films as “Gorky!”, “Gorky! 2 ” and ” The Best Day. ” And it was him who created “Call DiCaprio!”. Simply put, the film looked very stellar by Russian standards. Finally, the producers of the film managed to start the premiere on Valentine’s Day – the best day of the year for melodramas and romantic comedies in movie theaters. In the next 3 weeks, we have holidays dedicated to Defender of the Fatherland Day and International Women’s Day. At this time, more and more people go to cinemas, especially with their family and with loved ones (“Ice 2” age rating is 6+).

Аглая Тарасова и Александр Петров в фильме "Лед 2"
Aglaia Tarasova and Alexander Petrov in the film “Ice 2”

May the Cancel be with you

Star Wars video game projects are being canceled more and more often - what is the reason?

Reading time 5 minutes

On February 23, the world most famous virtual gaming platform Kotaku reported that Electronic Arts gaming company had canceled the development of its Star Wars game. It was engaged in EA Vancouver. This was posted on Twitter by Jason Schreyer, an editor-in-chief of the portal, one of the main insiders in the field. The Vancouver branch of EA was developing the single-player open-world video game Orca. It was based on a failed project of Visceral Games studio under the working title “Ragtag”. In 2017, Visceral Games was closed for unknown reasons. In the same year, according to information received from Schreyer, Orca was also shut down. After that, EA Vancouver took up another Star Wars game, Viking, but it was also canceled.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - единственная успешная игра по вселенной "Звездных войн" за последние годы
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the only successful Star Wars game in recent years.

There is some good news. Schreyer said that Respawn Entertainment’s development studio has received permission to produce the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel. It was released on November 15, 2019. Its average rating on the Metacritic aggregator is 8.1 out of 10, the result is well above the average. Financially, the novelty also became successful: by the end of January 2020, more than 8 million copies of the game were sold, what is 2 times higher than expectations of EA CFOs.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 - крупнейший провал EA
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 – EA’s biggest failure

But the success of Respawn Entertainment is rather a pleasant exception to the currently generally negative video game situation in the George Lucas universe. In 2013, EA entered into a ten-year agreement for the exclusive Star Wars games publisher with its owner, Disney Corporation. Since that time, there have been as many canceled games as there are three released. And if the “Fallen Order” really gained popularity, then both parts of the multiplayer “Star Wars: Battlefront” were adopted very ambiguously. This is especially true considering the second one, which was released in 2017. The problem was not the gameplay but the greed of Electronic Arts. All progress was built on lootboxes – virtual cases, after “opening” them the player received items of random quantity and quality. These cases could be bought either for game currency or for real money, but if you did not want to pay from your pocket, the player had to earn this currency for many hours. Simply put, gamers were outraged by such a “segregation of rich and poor.” In addition, there was a problem in the element of randomness: an unnecessary thing could fall out of the lootbox, or it could be the most unique one, which gives a great advantage over other players.

EA не очень любят
Gamers don’t like EA

As a result, EA gained a bad reputation in the gaming community. Players do not like the company because of excessive greed, and developers do not like it because of the production hell that many of its projects has fallen into. Visceral Games is one of the three examples when a large studio under the supervision of EA was closed. In addition, BioWare Montreal and Headgate Studios were also affected by the corporation.

Pixar continues to move onward

The new studio film received the first reviews

Reading time 4 minutes

On February 20, preliminary screenings of the new cartoon of the animated film studio Pixar “Onward” were held. The first reviews of the audience were positive. Most of those who watched agree that the picture has a standard for Pixar beautiful and elaborate animation, a touching story and an excellent soundtrack.

Главные герои "Вперед" (ноги тоже!)
The main characters are “Onward” (legs too!)

According to the annotation, the action of the cartoon will take place in a magical world, from which all magic had disappeared as a result of some terrible event. But fabulous creatures, such as trolls, centaurs or elves, remained and were forced to live an ordinary (human) life. The main characters are two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot. They will receive the magic staff that their deceased father bequeathed them. This staff will launch a series of adventures. The brothers will try to get their father back and find out how magic left their world. Interestingly, both brothers were voiced by actors who gained popularity thanks to roles in Marvel studio films – Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Chris Pratt (Star Lord).

Режиссер Дэн Скэнлон
Diector Dan Scanlon

The film was annotated in 2017 at the annual D23 Expo, which is dedicated to new Disney studio projects. It was immediately announced that the director and screenwriter of the picture would be Dan Scanlon. “Onward” is the second full-length cartoon in his career. Previously, he was also the director and script writer of the prequel to Monsters, Inc., Monsters University, which was released in 2013. Scanlon was also the creator of the 2006 short film, 2Mater and the Ghostlight”. This movie was dedicated to the tow truck Mater, a secondary character in the cartoon Cars of the same year. Following the success of these films, Pixar launched the animated series “Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales2, which ran from 2008 to 2014 on the Disney Channel. Scanlon did not take part in the creation of the series.

Похожи?
Are they similar?

On February 17, the future of the film was in jeopardy: an artist and tattoo artist Danier from San Francisco sued the creators of the cartoon for copyright infringement. According to the plaintiff’s position, Pixar, without her permission, copied Danier’s unique vanicorn design featuring a unicorn. It turned out that in September 2018, Pixar representatives rented the van “as an artwork at a corporate music evening.” But at the presentation of promotional materials for the cartoon in May 2019, Danier saw a van that looked exactly like her. She later contacted “Onward” producer Corey Ray. Ray asked the victim to sign a non-disclosure agreement, but did not pay the compensation. Now the artist demands not only monetary compensation, but also an injunction against distribution of advertising, goods and the film itself. The film company has not yet commented on this situation.