We all need a gentle reminder from time to time. This Week In New Releases from New Rising Media aims to do just that – remind you of the biggest, best and hottest new media releases to look out for this week. From the latest big screen blockbusters, to this week's most anticipated Blu-Ray discs, via details of the next big triple-A videogame to reach consoles. This isn't a total run-down of everything new this week, though, these are carefully hand-picked for your viewing/playing pleasure entirely by us, enjoy.
Pick Of The Week! - Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) Developer: Bioware
Currently boasting a score of a whopping 93 out of 100 on Metacritic and attracting gushing praise where the terms ‘masterpiece’ and ‘phenomenal’ becoming commonplace, the closing chapter of the Mass Effect trilogy promises to bring Commander Shepard’s story to a fitting end in a story that is shaping up to be as emotionally-draining and melancholic as it is grandiose and spectacular in its own epic science-fiction way. For the first time in the series, Mass Effect 3 will show the real threat to the human race in a way so far only hinted at – a culmination of the warning signs so far only foreshadowed in the previous two games - as Earth comes under devastating attack by the Reapers.
If your suicide mission on-board the Normandy was too much emotion to take, then how about the possibility of the entire human race being exterminated as a result of your incompetence? Bioware has insisted that there is a possibility for Shepard to lose to the Reapers - what will prove to be an example of Mass Effect’s many choices, actions, character nuances and the consequences of them having a direct impact on the conclusion of the stunning trilogy we’ve so far been hooked on from start to finish.
With a heap of gameplay tweaks and gentle refinements adding another layer of polish on an already sparkling game – the cover system is said to have been improved, as well as enemy AI, the addition of instant melee kills – Bioware has topped off the extravagant package with a four player co-operative mode in order to sweeten the deal. Yeah, like we needed convincing…
John Carter (12a) Dir: Andrew Stanton
In Cinemas Friday
Marking both the live-action debut feature for WALL-E director Andrew Stanton and the centennial of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ ‘John Carter of Mars’, Disney’s John Carter big-screen treatment sees Taylor Kitsch take the role of the former confederate captain mysteriously transported to the red planet in an incredibly ambitious adaptation of Burroughs’ Princess Of Mars novel. Rumour has it that Disney is expecting nothing less than worldwide box-office takings of around $700 million to guarantee a sequel, which ought to go some way in indicating the funds the Mouse House has injected into its production.
For anyone following John Carter Of Mars' journey to the big screen, it might come as no surprise that the project is deemed a massive risk for Disney to take. The film rights have jumped from studio to studio over the years (never a good sign of things to come), with Disney themselves once pencilled in to make an animated feature from the property in 1931, before stop-motion effects maestro Ray Harryhausen worked on an adaptation in the 1950s. Tom Cruise was later rumoured to be taking the role of Carter in the 80s for Disney, which later fell through, while directors as diverse as Robert Rodriguez and Jon Favreau have all been attached to Carter productions since.
Nevertheless, all signs point to this being a worthwhile gamble for Disney. Andrew Stanton, who extracted tear-jerking humanity from a rusting old robot in WALL-E, seems to be the ideal fit to bring John Carter to our multiplexes, sure to bring a believability and vulnerability to the heroic civil war vet as he looks to unite the warring tribes of Barsoom (Mars) and save the planet from its impending death.
Contagion (12) Dir: Steven Soderbergh
Out Now (DVD, Blu-Ray)
Proving to be somewhat of a 'marmite' film with extremely contrasting reviews across the board, Contagion from the typically difficult to pin down Steven Soderbergh (The Girlfriend Experience, Che, The Informant) is a bleak and at times scarily realistic thriller dramatising the outbreak of a global-scale lethal airborne virus and the subsequent panic (and death) it creates around it.
Using several intersecting plot-lines to convey the immediate health concerns of the virus; as well as the hard work, perseverance and often times bafflement of scientists and medical health experts at the Center's for Disease Control (CDC) hoping to identify and contain the disease to secure the population's long-term future, Soderbergh pulls the strands together in a nail-biting, unnerving and infectious thriller that's as much a thriller as it is a horror movie for germophobes. Thanks in part to the film's creators working closely with scientists throughout the production, the film has been heavily praised by health professionals and scientists alike for its accurate depiction of a disease outbreak, were it to happen on the scale portrayed by Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne et al. in the final film. You won't want to touch anyone for weeks.
Other Notable Releases:
The Ides Of March (15) [Out Now On DVD And Blu-Ray]
With a magnificent cast behind it (George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman), The Ides Of March centers on deputy campaign manager Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) torn between each side of the presidential race. Demonstrating his directorial flair in the likes of Good Night, and Good Luck, George Clooney co-writes and directs. Expect political corruption, national scandals and a torrent of superb performances.
Street Fighter X Tekken (Xbox 360, PS3) [Out Friday]
It's Capcom versus Namco in a fighting crossover between both the who's who of the two hugely popular fighting series and visual dimensions (Street Fighter preferring the 2D plain, while Tekken has stuck rigidly to 3D). Will the match-up work? Find out Friday.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.