And Bioshock Infinite DLC has Officially Been Announced!

I am so excited by this news! Irrational Games has announced the three new downloadable content packs that will be offered for their latest bestseller, Bioshock Infinite. Bioshock Infinite focuses on the seemingly utopian world of Columbia, a hyper-religious and hyper-American society that floats high in the sky above the United States, from which it separated in order to maintain it’s conservatism and moral ideals.

The game, originally released in March, is being expanded upon in these three segments that will be released between now and March 2014, the first of which – Clash in the Clouds – is now available. Clash in the Clouds is an action-based pack that adds new combat stages and abilities to the game and is included in the game’s Season Pass. If you do not have the season pass, the content can be downloaded for the price of $5.00.

Also announced today was the upcoming story DLC for the game, called Burial at Sea. These two packs will return the player to Rapture, the haunting city at the bottom of the sea featured in the original Bioshock game (as well as it’s sequel).

I have not actually played the original Bioshock game, but I have played most of Bioshock Infinite. I would love to finish playing it in the future, but I rented it and played it on my boyfriend’s XBox 360 and have not gotten a chance to finish it yet! I have watched entire playthroughs of both games on YouTube (I recommend ChristopherOdd’s in particular!) and am currently working my way through watching Mr. Odd’s Bioshock 2 playthrough as well. The games have held my interest ever since I saw Bioshock Infinite advertised during the VGA (Video Game Awards) earlier on this year. Something about them is so captivating to me – I love the emphasis on story, it’s like playing a movie! Each game features extensive commentary on agency, however, and for that reason I would have to argue that these stories are most effectively told through the gaming medium.

With the DLC confirmed to be featuring Booker and Elizabeth, I’m excited to see how their characters have changed from the last universe to the one depicted in Burial at Sea! As a cinema fanatic, I’m loving the film noir inspired look, as well. Definitely exciting to see where these new installations will take the lore of the fascinating lands of Columbia and Rapture next.

Are you excited for the new and upcoming Bioshock Infinite DLC? Leave a comment and let me know!

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watchthis: Monster’s University

ImageMonster’s University tells the funny and charming story of Monster’s Inc.’s beloved characters Mike and Sully during their wild years as college students. The two get off to a bumpy start as both tackle their new lives as students in completely different ways, but watching them interact as they turn from strangers to the best of friends is simply delightful. Throw in a bunch of new characters and a handful of cameos from Monster’s Inc. characters, and you get a fun flick that’s perfectly suited for all ages. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.

The movie works perfectly as a prequel to Monster’s Inc., staying true to the monster world while at the same time filling out more of the details as to what life for monsters is like!

Another thing I love about the movie is the look of the different buildings at MU as well as the memorable characters that fill the campus. These details give the world a truly realistic feel – it looks a lot like where I go to school at the St. George campus at the University of Toronto! The animated architecture is beautiful.

Monster’s University is definitely worth seeing for Disney and Pixar fans – especially for those of us who grew up watching Pixar movies and are now in university ourselves!

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An additional bonus for those who go to see the film in theatres is Pixar’s latest short film, The Blue Umbrella. The short is endearing and adorable, featuring a simple love story between two umbrellas on a rainy day in the city. Notable for it’s animated photorealism, The Blue Umbrella demonstrates just why Pixar is such a groundbreaking company in the animation industry.

Have you seen Monster’s University? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

watchthis: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Moonrise Kingdom

Do you love camping, the 1960’s, and all things hipster-y? If your answer is yes, then Moonrise Kingdom is the film for you.

The film tells the simple story of a young boy and a girl who fall in love and run away. Both are social outcasts for different reasons – he, an orphan, she, a problem child – and two head off to spend the rest of their days in a boy scout tent. The film is highly stylized with filters that will remind you of Instagram’s finest, as well as fashion, music, and sets inspired by vintage of the 60’s.

Moonrise Kingdom is a delightful romp that is definitely worth a watch. It’s a beautiful, simple film, full of quirky humour and filmmaking that is sure to please both the cultured moviegoer and the hippest of the hip. I love the carefully staged framing and the retro props and vibes. While perhaps a tad pretentious (you know, the kind of film that is clearly shouting, “look! I’m ARTSY”), the film is enjoyable and, for lack of a better word, quite pretty.

The film features an ensemble cast including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, and Frances McDormand. It was directed by Wes Anderson and was released in 2012.

Young and Beautiful: The Great Gatsby Soundtrack

Summer is officially here, and what better way to finish up our week of Gatsby here on readthiswatchthisplaythis than with some of the latest film’s music?

Lana Del Rey’s Young and Beautiful serves as the romance theme in Luhrmann’s Gatsby flick, hinted at numerous times as we watch Daisy and Gatsby’s tale unfold.

Gotta say, I don’t know much about Lana Del Rey and wouldn’t consider myself to be a fan per se, but I do really enjoy this song and feel that it fits the themes and tone of the movie perfectly.

Enjoy your summery weekend everyone!

watchthis: The Great Gatsby (2013)

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Being a huge Baz Luhrmann and Leonardo DiCaprio fan I am, I was definitely excited to go see the latest film adaptation of The Great Gatsby in theatres. I just finished reading the novel a couples of days before I saw the film, too, so I was beyond pumped. And I can fully believe that the movie was worth the hype.

I LOVED IT. It was incredibly accurate to the novel, the acting was superb, and the music was amazing (I know that many people complained about the blending of modern music into a film set in the 1920’s, but, hello! This is from the director who gave us Romeo+Juliet, and last time I checked, Romeo didn’t carry a pistol or groove to Radiohead in the Elizabethan era).

The fact that the classic story was able to be portrayed as something that could happen just as easily today shows the true success of the filmmaking team. The costumes, music, and beautifully styled sets contribute perfectly to the glitz-and-glam atmosphere of Fitzgerald’s famous world of luxury. I raise my champagne glass to you, Luhrmann!

If you haven’t seen Gatsby yet, please do! It won’t be in theatres for much longer (some cities have already stopped playing it). Independent theatres are likely to pick it up for short runs once it finishes in the major theatres, though, so if you haven’t found the time yet, there is no need to panic.

If you have seen Gatsby, what did you think of it? Were you amazed and delighted like I was? Or did you find the fashionable attempt at a revamp fell flat? Let me know in the comments!

readthis: The Great Gatsby

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Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking – everyone and their dog has read Gatsby before, written essays on it in high school, had it’s overwhelming “greatness” held over their heads for, like, ever. But it’s all for good reason, because this book IS great.

I had never read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most loved work before – I’m Canadian, and our high school system for the past several years focuses on Canadian works in their English classes alongside American and British ones, so Gatsby was never a book that was assigned to me. I had been wanting to read it for several years, and am so glad I finally got around to it. It’s a quick and overwhelmingly delightful read, and I absolutely loved it. Of course, Gatsby has been everywhere in recent months due to the release of Baz Luhrmann’s latest film (I’ll be dicussing this adaptation later on this week). However, to those of you who have never taken the time to actually sit down and read the book: do!

The book’s iconic yet destructive characters really do stand the test of time, and the events that they each play a part in setting in motion are truly captivating.

The classic is definitely a must-read, and I know that I’ll remember The Great Gatsby as one of my favourite simple-yet-poignant novels of all time.

Nintendo at E3 2013

ImageDespite not holding a major press conference this year, Nintendo still wowed in Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct and the various Developer Directs and sneak peek gameplay and trailer videos since then.

For the Wii U, Nintendo opted to play it safe and announced a large lineup of first-party games, focusing on sure hits such as Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros (a version of which is also being released for the 3DS). All of these games definitely look to be fun, and while not entirely thrilling or surprising me, I’ll be sure to pick a few of them up and try them out.

3DS fans were sure to appreciate the new Pokemon X and Y footage and information, as well, including the reveal of the new “Fairy” type. Being a huge Zelda fan, I was definitely excited to see more footage from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD re-release for the Wii U as well.

Some more Nintendo-released games that Nintendo gamers may be excited about include Bayonetta 2 and Monolith Soft’s latest and as of yet untitled game, announced in the trailer only as “X.”

A wider selection of third party titles will also be arriving on the system soon, including Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, launching this November.

Overall, I feel excited about Nintendo’s announced lineup and definitely have many new games to add to my must-have list! I must admit that, despite the huge Nintendo fan I am, I was left feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the direct. I expected a little more innovation from the mega-house developer. After all, what better time than E3 to opt for “surprise and delight” tactics?

Nintendo’s E3 booth and floor showing looked like a lot of fun, too – I loved the playful, tech-looking layout! I wasn’t able to make it out to any of the Best Buy demo locations, but the games sampled seem to have been fun as well.

How did you feel after Nintendo’s showing at E3 this year? Excited? Disappointed? What games are you most looking forward to next?