Why Matthew McConaughey Turned Down Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for The Dark Tower

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“I’d feel like an amendment.”

Matthew McConaughey has come forward to explain why he turned down a role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for the opportunity to star as the Man in Black in Sony’s upcoming film adaptation of The Dark Tower.

In an interview with Playboy (via io9) the actor said he’d “feel like an amendment” if he joined James Gunn’s forthcoming sequel. “I like Guardians of the Galaxy, but what I saw was ‘It’s successful, and now we’ve got room to make a colorful part for another big-name actor.'”

Why Matthew McConaughey Turned Down Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for The Dark Tower

Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black in The Dark Tower.

McConaughey would have starred as the villain in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, though there’s no word on exactly which character he would have played.

The actor then went on to praise The Dark Tower’s “well written” script, which won’t be a straight adaptation of the source material, as well as director Nikolaj Arcel. “I like the director and his take on it, and I can be the creator, the author of the Man in Black—a.k.a. the Devil—in my version of this Stephen King novel,” he said.

McConaughey also spoke to his role as the Man in Black, saying, “I enjoyed approaching my character as if I were the Devil having a good time, getting turned on by exposing human hypocrisies wherever he finds them.”

He noted that while it’s “a fantastic thriller that takes place in another realm, an alternate universe,” it’s also “very much grounded,” highlighting the fact that the Gunslinger (Idris Elba) wields a pistol rather than a fictional weapon like a lightsaber.

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The actor reaffirmed the first movie, which began filming back in April, is done. That said, the release date for The Dark Tower was recently moved from February to July 28, 2017, so that more time can be spent on completing the film’s visual effects.

Alex Osborn is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

9 Skyrim Secrets You Probably Didn’t Find

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Sneaky secrets.

Skyrim is a game so massive that you can explore the tundras for days and still not see everything. Even if you’ve slain every dragon, joined every guild, and completed every quest, the game is just full of secrets that might just slip you by. Here are 9 Skyrim Secrets you might not know about.

The Notched Pickaxe – Minecraft Easter Egg

Arguably the most classic of Skyrim secrets, it still deserves a mention for those who haven’t found it. Travel to Skyrim’s highest mountain peak, the Throat of the World, and climb to the top of the summit. Here you’ll find a very special Notched Pickaxe embedded in some malachite ore. This is a callback to the incredibly popular Minecraft, created by none other than Markus “Notch” Persson.

Infinite Arrow Trick

This little secret is a must for any archer thief. Find an NPC who often practices his archery against a target dummy, and pickpocket his arrows, replacing them with one arrow of high quality. The NPC will then shoot multiple arrows of that type at the target, letting you gather multiple arrows from the dummy.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

When questing across the land of Skyrim, it’s easy to forgot to stop and read some books now and then. Why not take a comfy break and have an adventure in a book! The book Kolb and the Dragon: A book for Nord Boys, is actually a choose your own adventure styled book. Just pick a path at the end of each page and try to get a good ending, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. No cheating!

The Headless Horseman

One of the more spooky secrets in Skyrim, you can find a Headless Horseman roaming the wilds on his spectral steed. He can be hard to locate, but if you manage to find and follow him to his final destination, you’ll find yourself at Hamvir’s Rest, where along with a number of undead enemies, you can find a coffin with a helmeted skull. Too Spooky For Me.

The Chill: Winterhold’s Jail

The Chill represents one of Skyrim’s more sneakier secrets. It’s location is often missed, as its found almost off the north edge of the map, past the College of Winterhold. This cave is actually a jail for Winterhold, and being mages and all, they went and made a Frost Atronach as a guard. You can actually get sent here by getting arrested by a Winterhold guard, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Even if you escape, you’ll have to contend with three more Frost Atronachs waiting outside.

Hidden Peaks of Solstheim

These next few secrets can only be found with Skyrim’s final DLC expansion: Dragonborn. The DLC island of Solstheim has much to hide, like the 4 hidden peaks that represent some of the highest points of the island. You won’t even see this location icons on your display until you are nearly at the top of the peaks, and they require a bit of platforming to summit. If you reach the top, you’ll be able to fast travel back at any time for some amazing views.

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Ride an Invincible Dragon

The Dragonborn DLC featured the ability to ride dragons, but what good is a dragon that’s just going to either die or turn on you? If you travel back to the Throat of the World after learning the new shout, you can summon your personal dragon to the ground from where he flies around the peak, and ride him wherever you please through fast traveling. Best of all, he’s an important NPC that can’t be killed, and he won’t turn on you like other tamed dragons.

The Ebony Knight

If you’ve never heard of the Ebony Warrior, don’t worry. You have to get to level 80 in Skyrim until this guy will show up on your doorstep, asking for one simple request: A duel to the death. This guy isn’t a pushover either: Entirely clad in enchanted ebony armor, he’s got everything from the best weapons to dragon shouts of his own! He’s easily one of the toughest enemies you’ll fight in the game, so don’t feel bad if you want to bring a friend…or a dragon.

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The Spider Imbuing Chamber

The Dragonborn DLC also features a little known crafting area known as the Spider Imbuing Chamber. Once you’ve cleared White Ridge Barrow on the island of Solstheim, you’ll find a large crafting device that inputs gems and albino spider pods, and outputs throwable exploding spiders. You heard me. You can customize the effect of the spider with different gems, and stock up on spiders to truly become: Spiderborn.

And that’s 9 Secrets you might have missed in Skyrim, For many more Skyrim Cheats and Secrets, head over to our immense Wiki Guide. I hope you learned something new today! If you know of any secrets you think nobody else knows about, let us know in the comments, and please add them to the Wiki!.

Kojima Productions Unveils $2000 Statue of Its Mascot

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You can buy it with one payment or monthly installments.

Kojima Productions, Hideo Kojima’s new development studio, recently showed off a new half-scale replica of its mascot Ludens — and it will only cost interested buyers $1999 USD.

The figure, a collaboration between Kojima Productions and Sideshow Collectibles, stands just over five feet tall. Limited to a run of 150 produced statues, each statue will be signed by Kojima himself and will come with LEDs in the helmet that can light up.

Kojima Productions Unveils $2000 Statue of Its Mascot

Source: Sideshow Collectibles

Kojima Productions Unveils $2000 Statue of Its Mascot

Source: Sideshow Collectibles

Kojima Productions Unveils $2000 Statue of Its Mascot

Source: Sideshow Collectibles

Kojima Productions Unveils $2000 Statue of Its Mascot

Source: Sideshow Collectibles

Kojima Productions Unveils $2000 Statue of Its Mascot

Source: Sideshow Collectibles

Ludens Sideshow Figure
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Ludens is currently available for pre-order on Sideshow’s website and is expected to arrive to customers between January and March 2018. The statue costs $1999.99, and can be purchased at a flat rate or via monthly payments of $225.

Kojima Productions is currently working on the new studio’s first title Death Stranding. While not much is known about the game, Kojima has gone on record to say it will be for people that “enjoy playing today’s AAA titles such as The Division and Uncharted.”

A recent trailer for Death Stranding was shown off earlier this month at The Game Awards starring famous film auteur Guillermo Del Toro and actor Mads Mikkelsen.

Blake Hester is a KY-based writer. Follow him on Twitter @metallicaisrad.

Trollhunters: Season 1 Review

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Guillermo del Toro spearheads an excellent new addition to Netflix’s lineup of original animation.

Note: this is a spoiler-free review of Trollhunters’ entire 26-episode first season, now available on Netflix. I’ll discuss basic plot and character details but avoid getting too much into story specifics.

We’re at the point where it’s worth maintaining a Netflix subscription solely for their lineup of original content. Sure, being able to stream Captain America: Civil War and all the CW superhero shows is nice, but not as nice as having shows like Luke Cage, BoJack Horseman and Orange Is the New Black at your fingertips. And it’s not just older viewers that these original projects cater towards. Trollhunters is may be geared towards a more all-ages audience, but it also happens to be one of the best new additions to the Netflix library in quite some time.

As with last year’s Dawn of the Croods, Trollhunters is a partnership between Netflix and Dreamworks Animation that premiered just in time to take advantage of the holiday break. Trollhunters is quite a bit more ambitious than its predecessor, however. It’s based on a fantasy book created by director Guillermo del Toro and writer Daniel Klaus and features robust CG animation rather than the 2D approach of Dawn of the Croods. Throw How to Train Your Dragon and Pan’s Labyrinth in a blender, sprinkle in a dash of Spider-Man and you have Trollhunters.

Trollhunters is also notable, sadly, for featuring one of the final performances from the late Anton Yelchin (Star Trek). Yelchin voices Jim Lake, a plucky teenager whose life is complicated and busy enough even before he finds himself bonded with a mystical suit of armor and tasked with defending a secret city of trolls from a dark enemy. The series’ name is a bit misleading in that sense, as Jim isn’t hunting all trolls, just a particularly vicious and nasty sub-group bent on world domination. Other major players in the series include Jim’s bumbling best friend, Toby (Betas’ Charlie Saxton), his high school crush, Claire (Modern Family’s Lexi Medrano), his troll mentor, Blinky (Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer), Blinky’s loyal, monosyllabic partner, AAARRGGHH! (Avengers Assemble’s Fred Tatasciore) and Mr. Strickler (The Strain’s Jonathan Hyde), a seemingly benevolent teacher with his own ties to the troll underworld.

Trollhunters was originally conceived as a film rather than a TV series, and that shift really does seem to have been for the best. On paper, Trollhunters seems like pretty standard animated fantasy fare, and even the first handful of episodes don’t do much break that mold. Jim is your typical teen hero with a heart of gold whom fate morphs from social outcast to heroic adventurer. Toby is the obligatory overweight comic relief. Claire initially comes across as another textbook, doe-eyed love interest. Had Trollhunters been framed as a 90-minute film rather than a 26-episode TV season, it would probably never have the chance to escape those tropes and become something more.

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Luckily, Trollhunters does have that extra room to play with, and it’s not long before it moves past “How to Train Your Troll” territory into more interesting and less predictable territory. The characters, both heroes and villains, take on a great deal of depth over the course of the series. Jim is nothing if not a compelling protagonist. Like Peter Parker, he struggles with the “with great power must also come great responsibility” idea and the need to balance the ordinary trials of high school and puberty with the pressures of training to defend troll-kind from its greatest enemy. Jim is forced to make a number of difficult choices over the course of the season, and he doesn’t always make the right ones. He’s constantly forced to choose between keeping his loved ones safe or being honest with them. The finale in particular puts Jim through a physical and emotional wringer, leaving him in an unexpected place by the end. That alone justifies the need for a Season 2, though how Yelchin’s passing will impact the future of the show remains to be seen. It should be noted that Yelchin’s voice work is instrumental in making the character work as much as he does. Despite having been in his mid-20’s while working on the show, Yelchin expertly captures the voice of an awkward, puberty-stricken teenager on the verge of becoming a man.

The show is called “Trollhunters,” not “Trollhunter,” and the supporting cast becomes increasingly important over time, particularly in the latter half of the season. Toby gradually evolves from simple comic relief to a fully realized character in his own right. He battles his own set of inadequacies and the trauma of being an orphan child raised by his senile, half-blind grandmother. Some of the most charming and emotionally affecting scenes involve the bond between Toby and his “wingman,” AAARRGGHH! As for Claire, she becomes a much stronger character in the second half of the season as she takes a more active role in Jim’s quest. She’s one of several characters that grows as she learns there’s much more to the world than the shallow reality of high school.

The long-from approach benefits the villains as much as anyone else. It’s very much to the show’s credit that several characters who could be classified as villains early on no longer fit the description by the end of the season. This applies to Mr. Strickler as much as anyone. Hyde excels in the role, bringing the same dignified charm and latent menace to the character he does to Eldritch Palmer in The Strain. Strickler is very much cut from the same cloth as Palmer. He’s supremely self-serving, but increasingly burdened by guilt over his role in bringing about a world-ending apocalypse and by the connections he forms with both Jim and his mother (Transparent’s Amy Landecker). Then there’s Draal (Final Fantasy XV’s Matthew Waterson), a battle-hardened troll who greatly resents what he sees as his birthright being usurped by a puny human. But over the course of the season, the two characters evolve from bitter rivals to stalwart allies. Even the two primary troll villains, Bular (Hellboy’s Ron Perlman) and Angor Rot (Quantum of Solace’s Ike Amadi) have deep shades of gray.

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In general, strong writing helps the show thrive as much as anything else. Trollhunters may be all-ages in focus, but it never dumbs itself down for younger viewers. There are some fairly dark themes at play. There’s plenty of suffering invovled for every character. There’s also a lot of bathroom humor and slapstick. It’s an eclectic blend, made all the more unusual by the presence of trolls, goblins, gnomes, pixies and various other fantasy creatures. Each race is unique and brings its own flavor to the table. Were this a movie, it’s easy to picture the gnomes becoming the breakout stars a la the Minions from Despicable Me. The show avoids being too campy or too dark, and like many Pixar films, manages to appeal to a wide audience.

Trollhunters sticks to a serialized structure throughout all 26 episodes. While each chapter more or less stands on its own, it also adds to the larger narrative as Jim moves closer to his destiny. The season really breaks down into two smaller arcs, one focused on Bular and the other on Angor Rot. Both arcs could have stood to be tightened up a little bit in terms of pacing, as they tend to drag slightly in the middle and then wade through a sea of plot twists toward the end. Maybe a slightly lower episode count would have helped. I don’t know that the series really needed an entire episode devoted to Claire breaking up a troll house party. But even so, these 26 episodes tell a clear, engaging hero’s journey that wraps up nicely by the end while leaving plenty of room for a potential Season 2.

While the writing and voice work are Trollhunter’s strongest elements, the animation doesn’t disappoint either. The show is rendered in a familiar style that evokes films of the past decade like How to Train Your Dragon and Hotel Transylvania (with Claire looking like she could be the younger sister of Mavis Dracula). But the fact that a TV series looks nearly as good as either of those big-screen franchises is pretty darned impressive. Compared to the sometimes rigid figures and sterile environments of a show like Star Wars Rebels, Trollhunters oozes detail and personality. The colorful environments and varied character designs give Trollhunters a strong sense of personality. And the action scenes never disappoint, whether Jim and friends are exploring the bowels of a giant troll or trading blows with monsters composed of hundreds of crystal shards. Del Toro’s unique visual sensibilities remain apparent every step of the way.

The Verdict

Netflix’s latest addition to its lineup of original animated content might also be its best. Trollhunters combines the fun and adventure of Dreamworks’ animated films with the unique charm and stylistic sensibilities of Guillermo del Toro. It makes for a winning combination, and one that’s able to realize its full potential thanks to the meaty 26-episode format. There are far worse ways to spend your holiday break than binging this entertaining and smartly crafted fantasy adventure.

39 Games to Keep on Your Radar in 2017

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Something for everyone.

There are plenty of great games to look forward to in 2017, but with all the big-name titles to anticipate, it can be easy to let some of the smaller gems slip under your radar.

Here are 39 awesome looking games you shouldn’t overlook in 2017.

Absolver (PC, PS4, XBO)

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Absolver’s sharp, eye-catching style isn’t the only enticing thing about it. An elaborate hand-to-hand combat system that combines tactical stances, customizable combos, and rearrangeable decks makes every encounter feel as fine-tuned as a fighting game. Check out 7 minutes of Absolver gameplay for more.

Agony (PC, PS4, XBO)

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Agony is a first-person survival horror set in what is probably the most gruesome, shocking, and bizarre depiction of hell in a game, ever. Bone gates open up into shifting tunnels of teeth and bloody, corpse-filled caverns occupied by massive split-faced demons. If horror games are meant to create images that will stick in your mind long after you’d like them to, Agony already has that part down. Head to its website for more info.

Allison Road (PC, Mac, Linux)

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Allison Road had a promising start as a hyper-real horror game in the same vein as P.T., the infamous first-person teaser for the now-cancelled Silent Hills. After getting cancelled once itself, Allison Road has been miraculously revived. We don’t know much about it, but the domestic horror of its narrow-hallway-ed suburban townhouse and its sole, lurking occupant already has us on edge.

Burrito Galaxy (PC)

39 Games to Keep on Your Radar in 2017

Burrito Galaxy has the strange and colorful charm of a long-lost N64 relic, but avoids nostalgia-baiting by creating something wholly its own. Its world (galaxy?) brims with imaginative characters and floating pastel playgrounds, with all the abstract whimsy and round-cornered playfulness of a children’s toy set. Bouncy text, cute dialogue, and incredibly pleasing music and sound effects bring it all to life. Find out more on its website.

Chasm (PC, PS4)

39 Games to Keep on Your Radar in 2017

Chasm promises to combine the challenging, retro-style hack ‘n slashing of procedurally generated dungeons with the carefully-crafted assembly of Metroidvanias. All that, plus some gorgeous pixel art to boot, makes Chasm one to watch.

Death’s Gambit (PC, PS4)

39 Games to Keep on Your Radar in 2017

A lot of the excitement surrounding Death’s Gambit has come from its 2D side-scrolling take on Dark Souls, and for good reason. Its imaginative creature designs and sword-and-board approach to combat look great. But it’s the hookshot-driven platforming and ability to scale huge, moving bosses a la Shadow of the Colossus (but inspired by Attack on Titan) that’s really grabbed my attention.

Dujanah (PC, Mac, Linux)

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Developer Jack King-Spooner, with his knack for surreal multimedia charm and haunting magical realism, aims to tackle “various moral, psychological, and political dilemmas” in Dujanah, a claymated adventure game set in a fictional Islamic country. But it won’t all be serious. Mechs, underground post-punk concerts, and a pilotable mech guarantee plenty of strange and dreamlike surprises. Find out more on its Kickstarter.

Eitr (PC, PS4)

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Eitr has been called an isometric Dark Souls for its extremely tough approach to stamina-powered, sword-and-board combat in a dreary, Norse mythology-inspired setting. Terrifying bosses and an incredibly dreary, pixel art atmosphere make this one to watch for fans of challenging action RPGs and low-res dungeon crawlers alike. See more on its website.

Fallow (PC)

39 Games to Keep on Your Radar in 2017

Fallow is an eerie Southern Gothic adventure game about a sleepwalking farmhand living in a land that was once America. Its sepia-toned world, with its juxtaposition of advanced technology and rural landscapes, creates a place at once alien but also hauntingly familiar. Try the demo on itch.io.

Fe (PC, PS4, XBO)

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Fe is all about learning how to connect to and communicate with the world around you. Inspired by games like Spyro the Dragon and Journey, Fe will have you exploring its forest ecosystem and attempting to befriend its occupants using different sounds, while steering clear of the shadowy foes who want to take your voice away. Check out its website for more.

Flinthook (PC, XBO)

39 Games to Keep on Your Radar in 2017

Flinthook is inspired by games like Spelunky and Rogue Legacy, but with a neat twist: you explore its loot-filled “dungeons” with a grappling chain hook. Game designer Dominique Ferland first teased the idea with a Twitter poll asking followers what they thought of “Spiderman with a gun” for a video game. It’s been praised so far for its strong, intuitive controls, which the creators have spent a lot of effort perfecting. See more on its website.

Gorogoa (PC, iOS, Android)

39 Games to Keep on Your Radar in 2017

Every puzzle fan should have Gorogoa on their radar, because it looks like it will be one of the most imaginative games to grace the genre in years. As its scenes play out in gorgeous hand-drawn art, you’ll be able to layer its drag-and-droppable panels on top of each other and watch as the people, places, and things inside interact with each other in magical ways. Head to its developer blog for more info.

Katana Zero (PC)

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Katana Zero is a stylish action platformer that equips you not just with a katana, but also a time-manipulating drug called Chronos. (It’s like bullet time for swords!) Wrapped up in the bright neon glow of an ‘80s neo-noir, Katana Zero looks like a game fans of Hotline Miami won’t want to miss. See more on its website.

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