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Insomniac Pokes Fun At The Internet With Photo Mode Enhancement

Now that Spider-Man is out in the wild and has won over the hearts of millions, Insomniac has taken the opportunity with the game’s new photo mode to poke fun at a pre-launch “controversy”: Puddlegate. The latest update lets you take pictures and even cover them in stickers and, for those of you who wish there were more puddles in the game world, you can now add them yourself.

The above tweet comes from Insomniac Games Community Director James Stevenson, who grabbed onto a comment from User Interface/User Experience Lead Gil Doron. As the duo points out, this week’s update to Spider-Man is full of fun new tweaks, including New Game Plus mode and a Photo Mode that lets you add frames and stickers to your best in-game snaps. To show this off, they dropped in a now iconic scene of Spidey spying on some bad guys and enhanced it with a bunch of stickers of puddles.

In case you’re curious what all of the fuss is about, there was a bit of an argument involving the quality of Spider-Man before the game launched. In an early teaser for the game, there’s a scene of the wall-crawler about to get the drop on some baddies who are strolling through a construction site with some large puddles of water underfoot. When the game was nearly ready for launch, that same scene made the teaser cut, only with smaller puddles.

This is the internet so, of course, people lost their minds. It all started out as complaints about the disappearing puddles, which evolved into a slightly more sophisticated gripe about what the puddles “represent,” specifically a drop in detail from the teaser to the actual in-game footage.

This gets at one of the biggest pitfalls in games promotion so, if you wonder why so many studios stay tight-lipped about their games, now you know. The initial video was a target the studio was gunning for and meant to show off what they hoped to achieve once launch rolled around. Some folks have an issue with this, though, as they feel like it actually represents a developer lying to them about what a game is actually going to look like.

I’m not going to sit here and say that some teams don’t knowingly go overboard with their concept clips, but it’s important that the audience knows exactly what it’s looking at: a teaser. Harassing a studio and even going so far as to send death threats because a finished product doesn’t look like a trailer from the year prior is inexcusable behavior, but it’s nice to see Insomniac at least has a sense of humor about the whole mess.

But, yeah, on top of that photo mode is the New Game Plus mode, which lets you start the whole game over with all of your unlocks in tow. It’s also worth noting that Spider-Man‘s first DLC drops next week, boasting the first of three chapters making up The City That Never Sleeps story arc.

Why Jet Li Didn’t Appear In The Matrix Sequels

While taking the role of Seraph, the guardian and companion to The Matrix universe’s Oracle, could have set Li up for life; there was that one catch that made him uneasy. No one can blame him for turning it down either, as any martial artist, or even any actor, will tell you, their signature characteristics are what keep them in the business. So, for the sake of Jet Li’s livelihood, as well as his unique moves, it was the choice that he felt had to be made, with the role eventually going to actor Colin Chou.

Nvidia’s Ray-Tracing Tech Proves The Moon Landing Really Happened

The folks over at Nvidia continue to turn small steps into giant leaps for technology and, with their latest GPU architecture, Turing, the developer feels confident they have proven the moon landing was not staged. It’s something they felt confident about in a demo put together four years ago but, with even more technological advancements (especially in light behavior), Nvidia is confident anyone who could have faked the moon landing would have had to be a time traveler who stole their modern technology.

Over on the Nvidia blog, the developer has rolled out a refreshed demonstration of their lunar landing simulation, this time using their Turing technology. Look, I’m not going to pretend to know what half of this stuff means so much as muddle through it to the best of my ability, but I think I at least grasp the absolute basic thesis here. In short, Nvidia’s new tech treats light more realistically than we have ever been able to manage and, by plugging in oodles of math and measurements and recreating the moon landing, their images are turning out exactly like those seen during the actual event.

Nvidia’s claim is that, with Turing, light behaves the way it is supposed to, which isn’t something you can really fake in even the most sophisticated Hollywood studio. So, when they ran their simulation that recreated the parameters of the actual moon landing, it would have looked totally different were the clips from half a century ago faked.

This presentation was part of a talk offered by Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at GTC Europe in Munich last week. He credits real-time ray-tracing capabilities of Turing for being able to nip this particular conspiracy theory in the bud, which probably isn’t sitting too well with members of the flat Earth community.

As for the animations, all of that was created using Unreal Engine 4. It’s solid, but there’s still a bit of an uncanny valley when it comes to realistic movement. But, again, that’s not the important part of this demonstration; the light is.

Of course, all of this bleeding edge technology is extremely expensive right now, so most folks won’t be able to take advantage of Turing to make games like Red Dead Redemption 2 (assuming Rockstar doesn’t drop the ball on that one) or Black Ops 4 look better than ever. Still, it gives you a good idea of where games can go in the future, maybe when the technology isn’t so pricey. You can take a look at some of Nvidia’s presentation, below:

The above video is the latest iteration of Nvidia’s demo highlighting the same moon landing they recreated four years ago, but now with Turing. Again, this is too far into the tech deep end for me, so my reaction is basically a nod of the head, followed by, “Well, okay, I guess that’s neat.” Actual tech hounds are pretty excited, though, so I’ll take their word for it that this is pretty big news.

How Much The Grinch Could Make On Opening Weekend

October has brought along several exciting titles, and going into the end of the year there are plenty of other releases expected to bring in moviegoers, including films like The Grinch. The title will follow big competition from the week prior to its release, with Bohemian Rhapsody, Suspiria and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms coming to theaters. Opening on the same day, November 9, The Grinch will go head-to-head with The Girl in the Spider’s Web and Overlord. According to Variety, these two titles aren’t tracking as highly as the green grump, though, so the family film will likely steal the weekend.

93 More Women Have Accused Former USC Gynecologist George Tyndall of Sexual Abuse

The University of Southern California continues to reckon with sexual assault allegations leveled against its former campus gynecologist George Tyndall. On Thursday, two new lawsuits were filed on behalf of 93 additional women who claim the university purposefully concealed the abuse—which brings the total number of Tyndall’s accusers to about 500.

The new claims come after 51 women came forward back in July. They joined six women who had alleged in a lawsuit filed in May that USC had failed to protect them from Tyndall’s abuse and mishandled complaints about his behavior, as well as dozens of others, bringing the total number of accusers at that point to more than 200. Following backlash, USC’s former president C.L. Max Nikias announced he would step down.

Tyndall is now retired after working at the university for almost three decades. According to CNN, accusations of misconduct against him date back to 1990 and include allegations from women who say he abused or harassed them under the guide of medical treatment at the university’s student health center. The AP reported that Tyndall’s license was suspended in August.

A group of approximately 20 women announced the two new lawsuits at a press conference on Thursday, and some of them spoke publicly about their experiences.

“I am part of an accidental sisterhood of hundreds of women because the university we love betrayed our trust,” Dana Loewy, a woman who alleges that Tyndall assaulted her in 1983, was quoted as saying in Time.

Following the press conference, USC announced their agreement to a tentative settlement of $215 million on Friday, which, according to NPR, could make anyone who received treatment from Tyndall eligible to receive a minimum of $2,500 (victims who allege Tyndall abuse them could receive up to $250,000, the Los Angeles Times reports.) USC’s interim president, Wanda Austin, said in a public statement that its Board of Trustees supported the settlement.

“By doing so, we hope that we can help our community move collectively toward reconciliation,” Austin said. “I regret that any student ever felt uncomfortable, unsafe, or mistreated in any way as a result of the actions of a university employee.”

The settlement requires court approval, and lawyers for accusers have said that the sum is not enough.

“The only guaranteed number in this case is $2,500—$2,500 won’t even get you a 50-yard-line seat at a USC football game, let alone compensate somebody for being sexually assaulted by their doctor when they were 18 or 17,” said John Manly, an Irvine-based attorney who represents 180 accusers.

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There Are Now More Than 200 Women Suing USC and a Former Gynecologist Accused of Sexual Abuse

Roseanne Spinoff The Conners Is Adding Matthew Broderick

The Conners is not shying away from romance. Jackie is the latest character scheduled to get a new love interest. The show recently cast Justin Long as Neil, a romantic interest for Jackie’s niece, Darlene. He is also set to recur on the series. And, along for the season is Darlene’s ex-husband, David, who will show up with a love interest of his own. For that role, The Conners has cast Juliette Lewis as David’s hippie girlfriend, Blue. Plus, D.J. and his wife are reunited, so we may finally get to see how that couple handles domesticity.

Halloween Director Reveals His Favorite Easter Egg In The New Movie

When making a film like 2018’s Halloween, it’s tempting, and pretty much required, to reference the previous history of such a storied franchise. Director and co-writer David Gordon Green obviously leaned into that practice rather well with the latest film, as references and events are scattered throughout that call back to other films in the franchise. But, what makes him the proudest is the following, obscure reference:

While we’d heard as much from Green ourselves, thanks to our own Eric Eisenberg’s time at the Halloween press day, in this telling there’s an interesting added detail. That comes courtesy of EW sharing David Gordon Green’s revelation that not only did John Carpenter notice the reference to that very song, his reaction to the ad-lib was quite pleasant.

In the scene from 1978’s Halloween, we see Laurie walking down the sidewalk, after dropping off the key to the Myers’ place, as she promised her dad. As she strolls down the street, she sings that improvised song to herself, and eventually we see Michael Myers watching after her as she walks away.

This song, which has been the topic of many questions on the internet, sits next to the masks from Halloween III: Season of the Witch as one of the most memorable, yet subtle, references to past Halloween canon in the new movie. And now, after years of just being a curiosity buried in a classic moment, it’s an actual song. Though don’t go crazy looking for this track just yet, as it doesn’t look like the soundtrack to the new film contains it. Unless, like The Shape himself, it’s hidden in plain sight.

With a potentially record breaking first weekend underway, Halloween feels like it could have some legs on it for the rest of the month. Not only will the positive word of mouth help keep this film on everyone’s minds, but now the potential easter egg hunt will more than likely have devotees and newbies searching for potential links to the past.

Halloween is in theaters now, but if you’re looking for more new spooky films in this season of the witch, you can head over to our list of other horror movies which stepped up to the plate this month and plan out the rest of your viewing time.

Check Out Aquaman’s Ocean Master And Vulko Riding Cool Underwater Creatures

After years of waiting, Aquaman is finally heading to theaters in just a couple of months, and we’re getting some cool looks at the ocean life we can expect to see in the latest DCEU blockbuster. The film has been teasing us with more shots of the action we’ll be treated to and some of that might, apparently, include Vulko (Willem Dafoe) and King Orm (Patrick Wilson) riding some unlikely beasts. Take a look:

Of course, when I say unlikely, I only mean compared with what us land faring folks know about what types of animals can be used for reliable transport. Clearly, when it comes to getting from place to place in the ocean, we’ve been missing out.

Aquaman director James Wan posted this cool look at Vulko and Orm riding two very different animals throughout their underwater kingdoms. Vulko is on a hammerhead shark, while Orm is standing fiercely atop an animal I can admit to never hearing of before, a tylosaur.

While most of you will probably know what a hammerhead shark is, if you’re not up on your prehistoric marine life, you’ll be just as in the dark on the tylosaur as I was. More commonly known as tylosaurus, this animal was a predatory marine lizard that averaged 40 feet in length, which probably used its long snout to ram and stun its prey, and also for combat. So, you know, it was dangerous.

One of the coolest aspects of getting a look a these shots from Aquaman is seeing how these animals will be outfitted in the film. Not ones to be content with just throwing a saddle on a hammerhead shark or a tylosaur, each creature is clearly wearing some armor. With Vulko’s hammerhead (Hammy? I think I’ll call him Hammy.) being the most obviously outfitted in protective plating which covers almost its entire top half, and Orm’s tylosaur (obviously named Ty) appearing to, at least, be wearing gear along its snout and upper back.

Vulko might appear totally calm in his photo, but considering how much armor Hammy is wearing, I’m going to guess he might be about to do battle, or at least be doing a training run so that he and Hammy are fully prepared for any upcoming conflicts. Orm, meanwhile, seems to be about ready to launch himself off of Ty, trident in hand, pissed and ready to engage whomever he believes has wronged him.

Part of what’s finally been revealed about the plot of Aquaman is that Orm, who is Arthur Curry’s half brother and has been ruling in his absence, will be eager to start a war with the surface world over the pollution of the oceans, while Arthur will be interested in trying to keep the peace and finding a non-combat solution. So, it makes complete sense that both images show battle ready beasts and a clearly angry Orm.

We’ll all be able to feast our eager eyes on just how these scenes are used in Aquaman when the film opens on December 14.

Lady Gaga Just Dropped a Music Video From ‘A Star Is Born’

By now, A Star Is Born has pretty much exploded across the country like the cinematic supernova it is. But if you still haven’t been able to get enough of the film, Lady Gaga has you covered. Yesterday, she tweeted out the first music video from the movie—and no, it’s not for “Shallow,” as you might expect. Instead, it’s for “I’ll Never Love Again,” the epic ballad that closes out the final scenes of the movie.

According to Variety, the team behind the movie’s soundtrack waited to release many of the songs until fans got to fully experience them in theaters. Now that “A Star Is Born” is out and devastating audiences everywhere, it’s time.

It all starts with a short clip from the movie, which sees Gaga’s character Ally asking her musician boyfriend Jackson Maine (played by the film’s director Bradley Cooper) about the lyrics that eventually become “I’ll Never Love Again.” “You hiding love songs?” she asks. Things take off from there.

And the emotional pull isn’t just that the song captures the film’s climactic ending (we’re not going to spoil it): As many outlets have reported, “I’ll Never Love Again” was an incredibly intense experience for Gaga on a personal level.

The day that she had to shoot the scene in which Ally sings I’ll Never Love Again” at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Gaga found out her close friend had passed away after a battle with stage 4 breast, brain, and lung cancer.

“My very, very, very dear friend Sonja died of cancer that day,” Gaga told Entertainment Weekly. “We were supposed to shoot in, like, 30 minutes, and I left the set because her husband called me and I could hear her in the background and I just got in the car and drove… I missed her by 15 minutes and she died. I literally laid with her, with her husband, and their dog, and his son. When I came back, Bradley was so gentle with me and we got through it. I performed the song. He was like, ‘You don’t have to do it again. It’s okay.’”

You can watch the full video on Apple Music.

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Luke Cage’s Twitter Posts Cryptic Message Following Cancellation, But What Does It Mean?

Luke Cage is the latest Marvel series to get dropped by Netflix, but maybe fans shouldn’t assume the superhero is gone for good. The show’s Twitter page posted a rather cryptic message not long after news of the cancellation got out, and we’re wondering what it could mean. Take a look:

The text is a reference to Pop’s motto in Luke Cage Season 1. The picture would’ve made total sense had it coincided with the news that Netflix was bringing the series back for Season 3, but posted after cancellation, it raises a lot of questions. Is this the show’s crew telling audiences the hero’s adventures will continue despite the cancellation on Netflix?

That’s certainly a possibility, as Netflix had confirmed Danny Rand may still appear in the Marvel universe despite Iron Fist‘s cancellation. The same wasn’t explicitly stated for Luke Cage, but it would be hard to believe the hero is going to fade into obscurity, especially given that the cancellation (reportedly) wasn’t all about ratings. It’s been said Netflix was unsatisfied with initial scripts that the Luke Cage writers provided for Season 3, which led to tensions that ultimately resulted in its cancellation.

One would think Luke Cage was in a position to stick to its guns, as it may be possible that Disney will snatch the hero back up for its own streaming service, which is set to launch in 2019. There are no guarantees that will happen, however, and even if it did, less of a guarantee that the show would remain the same. Recastings could happen, the sex and violence could be toned down, and even the musical focus could be switched up.

Perhaps the timing of the two cancellations are intentional, and a Heroes For Hire series is in the works? Marvel fans got a taste of that team-up in Luke Cage Season 2, and it’s possible both were dropped in order to prepare for a concept that finally combines Luke Cage and Iron Fist into one series. Where that would air is anyone’s guess, but it seems that the Luke Cage staff is teasing something that makes it apparent the show could carry on.

Even Luke Cage‘s showrunner is getting in on the action. Cheo Hodari Coker mentioned the tagline in his thanks to the cast, crew, and fans right after talking about the superhero series:

Coker’s tweet makes the phrase sound more like a goodbye than a rallying cry, but emotions can be hard to gauge in text. Luke Cage stars Mike Colter and Simone Missick haven’t shared their thoughts on the cancellation yet, despite their frequent social media presence. It will be interesting to see if more information about the reported “creative differences” between Netflix and the show surface, and whether the program will make a comeback as the picture could imply.

Seasons 1 and 2 of Luke Cage can be binged on Netflix. For a list of new shows coming to television in the coming months, head on over to our fall premiere guide.