CONTEST: Win a copy of Wrong Turn 5:Bloodlines on Blu-Ray

We have another contest here at Entertainment Maven: two copies of Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines on Blu-Ray to give away to two lucky winners. This time, the kind people at Fox Home Entertainment have provided us with the Blu-Rays and here’s how you win a copy. Try not to take any wrong turns along the way.

Please note that the contest is only open to individuals who are at least 18 years of age and who live in Canada or the US. Only one entry per person. Winners will be chosen at random from a pool of entrants who have completed the following steps. The contest will close at 11:59pm on Sunday, October 28th, 2012.

1. ‘Like’ our Facebook page by clicking this link and then ‘like’, or by going directly to www.entertainmentmaven.com and clicking ‘Like’

2. Follow us on Twitter @entertainmaven

3. E-mail us at entertainmentmaven@gmail.com, putting Wrong Turn as the subject, and tell us your full name, shipping address (no PO boxes please) and the most important way (in your opinion) to survive a horror movie from the Wrong Turn Horror Movie Survival Guide.

Winners will be contacted at the e-mail address used to enter the contest.

The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania Book Review (Matt Hodgson)

Photo courtesy of Titan Books

Hot on the tail of the release of Hotel Transylvania in theatres, a big budget animated movie featuring the voice of Adam Sandler in which audiences get a comedic look at what a hotel exclusively for monsters might look like, Titan Books has released a beautiful book depicting behind the scenes art and ‘making of’ information regarding this early box office success.

Photo courtesy of Titan Books

From the dust jacket: Hotel Transylvania, from Sony Pictures Animation and director Genndy Tartakovsky, resurrects the classic horror monsters, including Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, Werewolf, and Invisible Man, and breaths new life into them.

Discover what happens on one special weekend when Dracula – owner of a lavish five-stake resort hotel for monsters, away from the human world – invites some of the world’s most famous monsters to celebrate his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday. Catering to monsters is no problem, but Dracula’s world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles into the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.

The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania examines the spooky spectacle of the making of Hotel Transylvania, with over 400 pieces of concept art, character sketches, storyboards and digital art, along with commentary from key filmmakers and crew. A frighteningly fantastic treat for the eyes!

Tracey Miller-Zarneke does a good job going into descriptions regarding many aspects of the movie. In addition to these helpful descriptions, we also get a variety of quotes and snippets of conversations from those involved with the making of the movie. Miller-Zarneke talked with the director of Hotel Transylvania, Tartakovsky, as well as many individuals with important positions at Sony, but it would have been nice to hear more from the artists, the creative minds behind the movie. However, this complaint is a very minor one as the writing is not the central reason to be interested in this book – the art is beautiful and the book is full of it.

Photo courtesy of Titan Books

Within the 170 or so pages, which are tall and extra wide, are more sketches, paintings, and digital art pieces about Hotel Transylvania than you could ever hope for. The main focus is on character design and production design, which focuses on specific locations in the film and the inanimate objects that decorate them. Of particular interest are the character sketches as they illustrate just how much effort must be put into central characters in an animated feature before the filmmaking team settles on the characters that you see in the final product. For example, 10 pages are dedicated to the conceptualization and design of Dracula, the main character in the movie. It seems as if nearly 10 different artists each submitted different designs for the lead character, many of which are on display in the pages of the book, before a final Dracula was decided on. This work load and drive toward an ideal Dracula character is shocking for someone like myself who has never been involved with the making of an animated feature. The production design pages provide equally illustrative sketches and information regarding the lengthy brainstorming process and boatloads of conceptual artwork that precedes a finished animated product.

Photo courtesy of Titan Books

The market for The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania may be a small one, but if you are a fan of the movie, an aspiring artist or animator, or just an individual who would like to know more about the making of a big budget animated movie from a behind the scenes perspective, then this book is for you. Attractively designed and jam-packed with concept art, Titan Books have put together a great package to complement the movie.

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Breaking Canadian Film and Television News (Nadia Sandhu)

A new name and a new look for the newly combined Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television Awards Show.

Drumroll please….

The Canadian Screen Awards will replace the Genies and the Geminis.  Nickname pending.  The inaugural edition the new awards show will be hosted by Martin Short on March 3, 2013 and will be broadcast in prime time on the CBC.

Read all about the Canadian Screen Awards here and give us your suggestions for an affectionate monicker in the comments below.

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A Really Bad Play – Hilarious theatre in Toronto

If you live in Toronto and have the January movie theatre blues, then get your ass off the couch or out of the multiplex, and make your way down to The Pia Bouman Theatre (Tuesday, January 31st – Saturday, February 4th) for A Really Bad Play, one of the most hysterical, side-splitting, ROFL plays out there.

The play is written and directed by rising comedy star Daniel Stolfi. Fresh off his incredibly successful one-man show, Cancer Can’t Dance Like This, for which he and his team received a Canadian Comedy Award, Stolfi has decided to tackle the world of bad theatre. He is not so much satirical, or tongue-in-cheek, instead Stolfi has written a piece of theatre that is an assault on the funny bone and could double as a trip to the gym, as audiences will be literally trying to catch their breathe in between laughs. A Really Bad Play also features an incredibly talented and experienced cast (Shawn Ahmed, Jessie Gabe, Ryan Allen, and Trevor Small) who manage to make Stolfi’s excellent writing even better through their performances.

For $15 dollars in advance or $20 at the door it’s really a no-brainer. Get out and see Stolfi now before he goes the way of previous talented Canadians and is snatched up by our neighbours with the deep pockets.

A Really Bad Play is the perfect cure for the January blues.

TICKETS

A Really Bad Play (Facebook)

Cancer Can’t Dance Like This

 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review (PS3) – The first three days

Image is not the property of Entertainment Maven

I love video games, I grew up on them. From The Secret of Monkey Island and the original Wolfenstein, to more recently hacking my way through the unforgiving world of  Demon’s Souls\Dark Souls and trolling around on the Playstation Network to download the latest releases; my experience is storied. However, I have patience, and as a result I’m not very likely to buy a $60 game when it’s released. I’d love to, don’t get me wrong, but I need a place to live, and I need food in my belly. I’ve had to change this philosophy with the release of Dark Souls and Skyrim. These two hotly anticipated RPGs are from experienced developers with a lot of cred – sure some people are down on Bethesda for releasing glitch filled games with cumbersome menus, but with Skyrim they may have finally released the product they have been envisioning for all of these years.

I’ve always anticipated the release of the next Elder Scrolls game, although I have to be honest, I’ve never completed the main storyline of a single entry in the series up to this day. I find with lengthy video games in general, that it is near impossible to maintain the level of quality and intrigue over the course of a 30-60 hour adventure. I often find myself enthralled with the fictitious world of a game (Oblivion, Fallout 3, Mass Effect) and the sheer possibilities in front of me, but these options quickly become commonplace as many missions and character molds make repeat appearances throughout the course of the journey. One of my biggest problems with the previous Elder Scroll games was my inability to find a monster that was much bigger than my character. Everyone seemed roughly the same size. I need surprise and variety! Without it, I may still enjoy the game, and praise it, but I won’t finish it. I think Skyrim is about to break this pattern.

Minor SPOILERS

In a mere three days, I have been witness to a dizzying number of unique events in the wondrous world of Skyrim. After being attacked by emotionally tortured ghosts, acting against their will, I discovered a necromancer’s devious operation in which an empty treasure chest and a trap door led adventurers to fall and break their bones in the depths of his experimental laboratory. I’ve traveled to the cold and barren north, in search of a small prison in order to free a political inmate, only to be turned away – the elven-armour clad guards weren’t so rude after I decided to kill them all single-handedly as comeuppance for their lack of manners. I’ve been challenged to a drinking competition in a small town bar, accepted, blacked out, and then found myself in a Hangover style adventure to figure out what the hell happened. I’ve killed a coven of vampires, contracted the beginnings of the disease myself, and narrowly escaped a fate worse than death. Oh, I also kill dragons with my mace.

I’m kind of a big deal.

My point is that Skyrim has finally broken the open world problem with generic quests, monsters, and environments, no doubt at the expense of painstaking writing, designing, and programming. In Skyrim you can literally do whatever you want, but most importantly, you can do it in one of the most beautiful, detailed, interesting, and dangerous game worlds that has ever been created.

I want to touch briefly on the technical aspects of the game. Some glitches are still present, and I’m beginning to think it’s an inevitability with a gaming environment this vast. It would be nice if corpses didn’t fall from the sky like rag dolls, and if I didn’t get stuck behind a ladder and a barrel that one time, but taken as a whole, Skyrim doesn’t seem to be glitch-ridden. Also, the menu and favourite system is a welcome addition that allows the user to switch through spells, weapons, and armour with ease.

In closing, if you have a child, an important job, or family/relationship problems, DO NOT  invest in Skyrim.

You won’t be able to put the controller down.

Anyone one else out there playing Skyrim? How are you finding the game so far? Is this Bethesda’s best Elder Scrolls entry yet?

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