_So many little things happen during the day that Matt and I want to share, but often they’re little snippets or redirects and not really suitable for a full-blown article. We’ve started putting them on our Facebook page ([LIIIKE USSSSS](https://www.facebook.com/AwesomeFriday) sorry) but want to make them available to everyone. So, we’re going to try and make a single daily post of all the little bits and bobs we think are cool from the day. It could be the announcement of a new film from our favourite director, a quick iPhone recommendation or just a reaction to something we’ve heard – a quick and easily digestible slice of the day’s cool news. Let us know what you think._
### Ready Steady Bang, Free game for iOS
So, let’s get started with my new favourite thing – Ready Steady Bang on iOS. It’s a free single press quickdraw game that is all about fast reactions. The single, multi and online play modes, combined with a deliciously simple graphic style, has already made this essential. Grab your gun and start taking down those pesky outlaws.
[[iTunes link](https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/ready-steady-bang/id447588618 “Ready Steady Bang on iTunes”)] – _Simon_
### JJ Abrams Confirmed to Direct Star Wars Episode VII
It’s official folks. [Press Release from StarWars.com](http://starwars.com/news/star-wars-is-being-kick-started-with-dynamite-jj-abrams-to-direct-star-wars-episode-vii.html “STAR WARS IS BEING KICK-STARTED WITH DYNAMITE J.J. ABRAMS TO DIRECT STAR WARS: EPISODE VII”)
> After a bevvy of emails and phone calls, the formalities have been > wrapped up, and at long last everyone can exhale and properly share > the word with an excited Internet. Yes, J.J. Abrams will direct Star > Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to > come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams > will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt > will write the screenplay. > > “It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set > off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the > perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as > a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He > understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring > that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.” > > George Lucas went on to say “I’ve consistently been impressed with > J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller.” He’s an ideal choice to direct > the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”
To me this is good news. I’ve found his films good but, uh, safe. What I will say is that while I like what he and his team with Star Trek, the storytelling style is likely much better suited to Star Wars which is more Science Fantasy than Science Fiction. Not that it really matters, you know I’m going to be there on opening day. – _Matt_
### LOL: Everything Wrong With _Avatar_ in 4 Minutes or Less
CinemaSins released the latest in their _Everything Wrong With…_ series.
Some of these are a bit of a stretch if you ask me but it’s still funny.
It is now 2013. Another year is over, so here’s a brief look at what I thought of 2012.
Favourite Film – The Avengers
There’s so much I can say here but what it comes down to is that I’ve been waiting for this film for basically my entire life. Having been reading Marvel comics since I was a kid seeing all these characters brought to the big screen in a way that doesn’t suck on their own was good, seeing them all on-screen together in a way that doesn’t suck is fucking amazing. Because let’s face it: a lot of superhero movies suck.
You see it’s not just that this is a good film that makes it my favourite of the year, hell I’ll even admit that there are a bunch of objectively better films that came out this year, but The Avengers is the geek dream realized: comic book continuity brought to the movies. Proof that you can create an entire universe in film and the masses won’t reject it. Proof to the studios —finally— that their audience is full of intelligent people who are looking for an interconnected film series with characters that stand both on their own and as a team in a single universe. Yes, I realize I just said the same thing three times. If you think The Avengers isn’t a milestone in filmmaking consider this: Fox just hired Mark Millar to oversee X-Men continuity. DC had the ending of Man of Steel retooled to leave it open for a Justice League style team-up movie down the road.
And aside from all that, it’s just a damn good movie. It’s near-perfectly cast, they’re all clearly having fun, Joss Whedon’s script is lively and full of humour, and it features one of the best action set pieces of the year. Who knew basically destroying New York could be so fun? More than that though, Joss Whedon understands that what makes a large cast work isn’t the action or the bad guy’s plans, it’s the relationships between the characters and he completely nails this aspect of the film.
At the moment when The Avengers finally assemble for the third act of the film, I was one of the people standing and cheering, and I fully expect that the next time they assemble, I will be again.
“I don’t want to talk about time travel, we’ll be here all day.” is my favourite line from Looper. This is the scene in which writer/director told us “stop worrying and enjoy this story because the story is what matters.” All of this is completely true. Looper is a film that tells you that it’s about time travel, but it’s really about love. That message, coupled with fantastic performances from the cast, a brilliant script make this a must-see.
Skyfall is the best James Bond story in years. It’s also the third act in a larger story that sees the latest Bond become fully realized and ready to move the franchise forward. Combine that with some of the best action direction of the year from Sam Mendes, and you’ve got a recipe for a great movie, which this is.
If you’d told me last year that one weekend in the summer all the guys I knew would be in a theatre watching a movie about a teddy bear (and all the girls were watching a movie about a stripper), I’d probably have given you a funny look, but that’s pretty much exactly what happened when Ted came out. It takes the ageing buddy movie schtick and manages to make it fresh again, it’s hilarious from start to finish, and it gives Mila Kunis a character to play. What more could you want?
Favourite Game – Punch Quest
I actually struggled with this category because, in all honesty, I don’t really have that many memorable gaming experiences from the year. There were a few flash-in-the-pans like Borderlands 2, but it ended up not holding my attention for more than a couple of weeks. Punch Quest, however, I can’t seem to get enough of.
There’s not really that much new stuff here; it’s an infinite runner that features punching. Strange at it may seem, that simple addition makes it completely addictive. Like all good single-player games, it engages me to keep playing by asking me to compete with myself and also by offering upgrades that make the punching cooler, routes that lead to boss battles or treasure troves, and a host of other “I can’t wait to see what comes next” moments in the gameplay.
Biggest Disappointment – The Dark Knight Rises
You know I could go on and on and on about The Dark Knight Rises, but I am not going to go into specifics because I already did on the podcast but also because the specifics don’t really matter.
Sure, there are plot holes that you could drive a bus through, and there’s a lot of them, but you know what? Batman Begins and The Dark Knight both have some pretty big holes in them too. The difference is that where Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are both compelling stories, and The Dark Knight Rises is not.
Batman Begins had Bruce Wayne training and learning to become Batman. The Dark Knight pitted Batman against The Joker, his philosophical opposite. The Dark Knight Rises had Batman face off against his equal after learning to become Batman again, twice. This is not compelling; it’s repetition. Bane, despite Tom Hardy wearing the mask, isn’t interesting and a last-minute twist robs all his characters weight.
I feel like Christopher Nolan might have been going for fan service with this one (and let’s face it if the story were a comic book few people would complain because comics are strange), tried to work too much into the story and the end is a non-compelling mess.
And how did Bruce Wayne get halfway around the world with no money or ID in just a few days and then enter Gotham while it was on a total lockdown, anyway?
Halo 4 may have made all the money, but I personally didn’t connect with it in the same way that I did the previous 5 entries in the franchise. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but every time I got stuck I got frustrated rather than spurred to push harder as I did in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach.
Prometheus was meant to be Ridley Scott’s triumphant return to SciFi and the Alien franchise. It’s pretty safe to say that this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, so when it turned out to be a convoluted mess, you could say that I was disappointed. Listen to the podcast episode in which we talk about Prometheus to get a better idea of how I felt.
Top Three I haven’t Seen/Played
I’ve tried to see Django Unchained twice now and both times I’ve gone down to the theatre every show has been sold out. Love it or hate it, people are certainly seeing it. I have mixed feelings about Tarantino as a whole, but I loved Inglorious Basterds, and this one looks to be right up the same alley of bloody American history.
I’ve heard very mixed things about Les Miserables but I very much want to see it for myself. I love the idea of live singing in a movie, but I can see where that might detract from the show as well. Plus it’s full of people that I like, including Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman.