2014 came and went and it was quite a memorable year. But we here at G.U.A.R.D. are agents that fight for the future, and 2015 as arrived!
So what’s every agent looking forward to in the new year?
As I stare out into the distant void that is 2015, what I look forward to is the unknown. I look forward to being surprised and gobsmacked.
Yes. GOBSMACKED. I wanna be gobsmacked. Right in the face!… but not too hard. Avengers 2 is going to surprise me. Not in its quality. Not in how much I love Joss Whedon. But in its execution. I had many (too many) tell me that I must love Guardians of the Galaxy more than the first Avengers movie. And I will be the first to say that Guardians was fantastic, but it wasn’t the movie I saw ten times in theaters. It didn’t have Thor headbutting Iron Man across a forest. Or Coulson on hold as Black Widow finishes up her assignment for the week. The first Avengers had the Hulk grabbing Loki and smacking him into the ground like a madcap cartoon.
Let’s take a second to appreciate that. That moment has been GIF’d to death, but when I was watching the movie, I did not see that coming. I expected excellence. I did not expect to squeel as much as I did. One of my favorite moments of 2014 was from the trailer of Avengers 2, where everybody is trying to pick up Mjolnir. The TRAILER, people! Its not even the full movie, and it had me dancing and babbling happily and pointing at the trailer until someone pushed my arm down, and told me to go to sleep. So what else does Age of Ultron have in store for me? Or The Force Awakens? The next chapters of the Tell Tale Games series? Hannibal season 3? Mad Max: Fury Road? Gimme some damn gobsmackers!
Reserve Agent Andrew:
What I’m looking forward to most in 2015 is attending the L.A. Podfest. As the co-founder of the Benview Network, an up-and-coming podcast network, I am truly passionate about podcasts. This year I was able to attend the L.A. Podfest for the first time and it was amazing. I was able to meet others who were just as obsessed with downloadable audio files and get a few new listeners for my podcast “shut up, leonard.” Next year I hope to have even more to show for my work in podcasts when I attend the 2015 L.A. Podfest.
We live in a beautiful time where those of us who are complete shit at video games no longer have to creepily watch over our friends’ shoulders as they play in order to experience the cinematic beauty and tense storytelling of this medium. No no, my lovely ducklings, we have the internet and with the rise of livestreaming and capture cards we can now watch complete strangers make asses of themselves playing games we also own but are too lazy to play at the moment. A leading force in this video game comedy genre is Rooster Teeth, the company behind the longest running web-based series Red vs Blue, a show that originally used the Halo animation mechanics to tell dumb jokes about a group of opposing teams stuck in a gulch together. However after 12 seasons we are now neck deep in elaborate plots and well-developed characters in various colors of Halo armor. While RvB is what most people will recognize Rooster Teeth for their real money maker is the side-project turned Bifrost Bridge to Asshole Asgard, Achievement Hunter.
The core group, a collection of six grown men, will sit around and play video games together all the while cussing, cheating, killing, and laughing. It’s a beautiful hot mess of inside jokes and dumb tricks and [Gavin Noises]. During this year’s RTX (a convention held in Rooster Teeth’s hometown of Austin dedicated to the company’s now vast array of shows and endeavours as well as welcoming many well-loved game developers) not only did Achievement Hunter have two panels but three live Let’s Plays. All five “performances” had crowds of people waiting as early as 5am in hopes of getting as close to the action as possible. Inspired by fans’ enthusiasm they decided maybe taking their Let’s Plays outside of the convention as well. Thus LET’S PLAY LIVE.
While starting first in Austin if deemed successful Jack Pattillo, second longest standing member of AH, has hinted at the possibility of bringing the show to other major cities. Let’s Play Live entails a theater ticket to watch a bunch of your favorite internet idiots play video games together. For those who are unfamiliar with this concept or these particular loveable jackasses it seems ridiculous but let me tell you one of the VIP package options being offered for the first showing have already sold out at over $200 a ticket. So, this might seem crazy to you but I have to admit, with what the VIP passes promise I would have happily paid even more than that. As of right now only the February 20th show held in Austin’s Moody Theatre is planned but hopefully it goes as well, or fails just hilariously enough to not discourage this from continuing. I want an LA showing. I need to see them do this. I love them too much. I live, breathe, dream this goddamn company.
Reserve Agent Jamal:
While most people are going to try to better themselves for 2015, I’m looking forward to pure social decadence! We my friends are in the midst of the best time for local happenings; whether it’s gastropubs, microbreweries, markets, speakeasies, etc. I believe we are on the precipice of a movement where we can choose between competing local markets as opposed to one corporate giant battling another. Here’s the deal folks, the local happenings understand that word of mouth is the ONLY way to get their name out there since they can’t afford to lose their social cred through aggressive advertising so they will try their absolute BEST to give you an experience that you will not only enjoy but will spread the word like a virus. Like all things that are hip, I’m sure our culture’s proverbial pulse for this movement will cease to exist or at the very least slow down, so NOW is the time to take advantage folks! I implore any of the GUARDians to join me for a once a month to enjoy some local faire and we’ll share our experience on the site! Huzzah to the local shopkeepers!
2015 is gonna be an insane year for big franchise movies. Already listed on this post alone we mentioned Star Wars, James Bond, Avengers and Mad Max (and MY GOD that trailer for Fury Road is just…wow!) ! As the resident Fast and Furious expert we have Furious 7 coming soon and I’m hoping it delivers on the fun the series has already been known for. Jurassic World could bring the right amount of nostalgia and fun. I’m also looking forward to new films from Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo Del Toro and Brad Bird. So yeah, a TON of big movies that promise all kinds of spectacle and fun….
Yet for the last few days my head has been really thinking about the up and coming Ash Vs The Evil Dead tv series for the Starz Network. The show hasn’t even started filming yet. They haven’t even casted yet, but I’m getting really into the possibilities of what we could get from this show.
Now I know Sam Raimi has lost his luster from some fans. The one two punch of Spider-Man 3 and Drag Me To Hell has made fans lose a little faith on the man. While I’m definitely on the side of hate for Spider-Man 3, I personally dug the crap out of Drag Me To Hell and I had a blast with Oz: The Great and Powerful.
So for me, there’s something kinda cool about Raimi and Bruce Campbell coming back home to Evil Dead, and yet doing something unexpected with it. Doing a TV show sequel, with Bruce Campbell FINALLY coming back to play Ash and with Raimi directing the pilot, its very untraditional, yet being untraditional has been Raimi and Campbell’s thing. Sure, a movie would be great, but to do a quick burst of 10 half hour episodes to give us a chance to catch up with Ash, that’s pretty cool.
Yeah, I don’t really know much about Ash Vs The Evil Dead, but all I do know is that Bruce Campbell is back to chop up Deadite bastards, and Sam is behind the camera getting all the gory details. That’s all I really need to know to get me excited for it.
Reserve Agent Matt:
Let’s be clear: what I’m looking forward to most in 2015 is Star Wars. It’ll always be Star Wars. In December, 2004, it was Star Wars, but somebody’s already talking about Star Wars, so I’m going to talk about the thing I’m looking forward to the second most, which is the 24th film in the James Bond series, entitled SPECTRE. This is exciting to me as a longtime fan of both James Bond and terrible acronyms (SPecial Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion. Or, in America, SPecial Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Extortion, and Revenge). SPECTRE and its leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld are Bond’s biggest nemesis, but neither have appeared in an official Bond film since Sean Connery was 007, for legal reasons. For non Bond fans, imagine that Bill Finger had won a lawsuit against DC that prevented them from using the Joker. Further imagine that the only live action Joker we’d ever seen was Cesar Romero, except that time in the ’80s when Bill Finger made his own Batman movie starring a way-too-old Adam West. That’s the situation we’re in with SPECTRE and I am very curious to see how Eon Productions portrays the villainous group now that they have the rights back. Every other aspect of Bond has evolved through constant reworking in the last 50 years, but SPECTRE hasn’t. It’s an iconic part of the series’ history and yet, completely open for reinvention. That is why SPECTRE is what I’m most looking forward to in 2015 (well, second most).
This year I’m most looking forward to the prospect of innovative, original console games in what appears to be a promising year for gamers. We can look forward to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt which has some really intense hype around the level of detail that you can explore and affect in the game; Halo 5: Guardians for Xbox One (okayyyy it may not be original, but who doesn’t like a good round of Halo multiplayer?!); Evolve, which had a very successful and fun Alpha weekend in 2014; and of course Star Wars: Battlefront, which will reboot the existing Star Wars: Battlefront series and update it with fresh graphics and a modern game engine for next-gen consoles. A few other games that I’ll have my eye on include Batman: Arkham Knight, Kingdom Hearts III, Mortal Kombat X, Battleborn, Mad Max, and many others. I guess I won’t be sleeping much in 2015!
Do you want to know what I’m excited for? Out of all the hoopla, the geek extravaganzas scheduled to hit in 2015, the one singular event that I am beyond excited for is the Venture Brothers hour long special that airs on January 19th. Not Avengers 2, not Star Wars, not even the prospect of Mass Effect 4 has me nearly as titillated as I am for the encroaching return of Venture Brothers and the heaps and heaps of failure that will entail. Details are sketchy, but the few bits that have been revealed tell us the special will take place on the space station, Gargantuan 2 and that every single character that has appeared on the show will make a special appearance to kick off the sixth season. So gird yourselves for untold levels of hilarity and mischief as Jonah Venture Jr. prepares to launch the greatest achievement any Venture has dared achieve—and then sit back and watch as everything collapses in a puff of sarcasm and smoke.
What am I looking forward to 2015?
If you asked me in person, I’d probably tell you “not dying.” But I grew up idolizing Calvin and Batman, so I’ve got a brooding streak. Creators are always upping their game in the entertainment world. There’s going to be better video games, better movies, better novels, better shows, and better reasons to call yourself a geek. I always keep RPGs close to my heart.
D&D untitled is finally out, and while the core books are so forgettable I haven’t even written a proper review about them, 2015 is going to be where we see the true face of D&D untitled. They’ve promised that expansion will focus on settings rather than system, so it’ll be interesting to see the possible return of Ravenloft, Dark Sun, and maybe even Starjammers to the world of D&D. Fantasy Flight has recently released Age of Rebellion (review pending) and in 2015, Force and Destiny is set to come out. This means that if gamers are willing to drop $200, they can play every Star Wars character that you’d want to play. I think it sounds like a lot of fun, and I really want to try it out before or after watching Star Wars Episode VII. Most importantly I’m looking forward to writing lots of reviews that challenge conventional thinking and promote the idea of REAL argumentation.”
Looking at 2015 from my comfortable throne at the top of my tower feels something like staring at the sun – it’s warm and spangly, but it scorches my eyeballs the longer I behold it. There’s almost TOO MUCH happening in 2015. Just look at all of my fellow agent’s paragraphs to see just how bursting at the seams this next year is.
For me, however, there’s a hot nuclear core to this upcoming year, almost exactly 12 months away. I’d like to keep gilding the lily because I own stock in gold and water flowers, but here’s the business: Star. Wars. Muh-fuckin’ Star. WARS. There’s no property on Earth that’s more valuable to me than Star Wars (not even Broadway and Park Place loaded with hotels.) I’ve read the comics, the novels. I’ve been running the same Star Wars RPG campaign for something like nine years. When I think about new Star Wars movies from a director I like (without the input of a certain huge-necked albatross), my entire body vibrates at a major chord.
The only dimspot is the complete obliteration of the EU I’ve sunk so much time and psychic weight into, and I can only hope the movie at least pays nerdy lip service to some of those concepts. But I’d be lying if the sight of a gamboling Millennium Falcon riding the Star Wars theme at max volume hasn’t gotten me as hyped as a human body can be. Let’s do this, 2015. STAR WAAAAAARRRRS.
When I was a child, a man once told me that I had good hands to choke someone with. Here I sit, 30-ish years later, with those same chokin’ hands. That being said, 2014 was a year. 2015 will be another year. Before we know it, 2016 will be shoving itself down our throats, making us have to use White Out (Or… correction fluid, as it will be known in the future) in those rare instances where we have to actually use ink. “What makes 2015 so special then?” you might ask. Hell if I know. A cursory scan tells me that 2015 contains just as many days as every other non-leap year. It holds 0.4 less hours, +/- 0.1 hours. There are just as many Christmases, and more importantly just as many Hallowe’ens as every other year. I sure don’t get it.
Funny then, because if all goes well, 2015 will be the year of the Con for me. Between Gallifrey One, A/X, E3, other cons, and the almighty SDCC (hopefully), I’ll be crazy busy up in this mother father. If our plans do come to fruition, this will be my first crazy all out SDCC trip in many years. I’ll be spending it with a crazy bunch of other Agents, and we’ll be wandering the halls of the San Diego Convention Center like a sad 7-person gang. We’ll probably adopt barely appropriate, semi-cryptic codenames. Mine will be Spelljammer. I’ll attach a false 6th finger on my right hand, and tell everyone it was a transformation spell gone awry. No one will want to talk to me because of my polydactly, and I’ll slink off into the corner of my Holiday Inn suite, forced to subsist on concerned text messages and carpet shrimp.
On the 5th day of con, a man with a long white beard will cast light upon my Holiday Inn corner, and bear me like a babe upon his shoulder to the nearest shower. I will bathe the pain away while eating a California burrito… also to keep the pain away. I will enjoy it. I will enjoy my burrito – I will say to myself! Before I know it, there will be another California burrito in my other hand. I will be double fisting California burritos. The glory of that moment will send shockwaves throughout all of San Diego, the epicenter: my belly. As my rotundity reverberates with the Music of the Ainur, San Diego itself with be renewed! More space shall be added to the convention center! Hall H will expand to accommodate 90,000 people! Everyone will have a hotel room walking distance to the convention! And somehow the city’s infrastructure will be able to support it!
I will fade into the west after all the goodness I will have wrought. A young composer will pen a tune in my tribute, entitled “Whimsy Upon a Midnight Squee.” A bronze artist will erect a memorial in front of the convention center, two hands – each fisting a burrito. The burritos will not read well in bronze, and people will petition to take it down because a middle-aged businessman from Mt. Shasta will try to become one with the right statue.
All the meanwhile, I will be sitting under my mountain, fake laughing. I will nod my head up and down every third hour, slowly, and repeat the phrase, “This is good.” I will fart a quiet, slow-seeping, continuous fart until all the wind of creation has left my body and I am left a cold, empty husk.
So. Con. I’m going to Comic Con. I’m looking forward to that.
Also, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and Game of Thrones. Woo. K. I’m done.