DID YOU READ

E3 2012: “Halo 4” demo and gameplay promises “everything matters”

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LOS ANGELES, California — The Electronic Entertainment Expo is fully underway in Los Angeles, and even with hundreds of games for attendees to see, it’s easy to argue that “Halo 4” is one of the most hotly anticipated titles in attendance. Microsoft and 343 Industries announced the follow-up to “Halo 3” last year at E3, and this year they brought a demo and some playable elements of the game for a select few to check out.

IFC was lucky enough to sit down for a demo of the game hosted by executive producer Kiki Wolfkill and franchise development director Frank O’Connor. Both seemed very aware of the legacy “Halo 4” is continuing, and they seemed ready to face that challenge head-on.

“With ‘Halo 4,’ we do look at it as the start of the next 10 years, the start of a new saga for ‘Halo,'” Wolfkill said, adding that they have identified the strengths of the franchise as something to focus on in this installment. “Our aspirations are definitely to deliver on an epic sci-fi experience. I think that’s a key piece of ‘Halo,’ and be able to deliver on that mystery and that awe and that sense of wonder of being somewhere new and alien.”

Though “Halo 3” seemingly concluded main character Master Chief’s adventures, there have been other “Halo” games released since. “Halo: Reach” took place before the events of “Halo,” while “Halo Wars” and “Halo 3: ODST” expanded the story in tangential directions. There have also been countless novels written that take place in the “Halo” universe and elaborate on the series’ mythology. But according to O’Connor, that was all in preparation of “Halo 4.”

“We realized that these things that take place in the alleyways and corners of the ‘Halo’ universe aren’t nearly as compelling or satisfying as the mainline story and the characters that people are familiar with. So it was a really simple decision: From now on, everything matters,” O’Connor said. “So every piece of story content that we’ve added to the universe since that point will actually pay off in ‘Halo 4.’ The characters that you’ve learned about, the technologies you’ve learned about, the mysteries of the Forerunner universe: everything’s going to be in ‘Halo 4.'”

“Halo 4” takes place five years after the events of “Halo 3.” As players who completed “Halo 3″on legendary difficulty will know, Master Chief was left in crysoleep in orbit above a mysterious alien planet. “Halo 4” will pick up right from where that left off, with Chief landing on the planet and facing off with new enemies there.

Those enemies will be called Prometheans, which are “effectively” Forerunners, as explained by O’Connor. The species was introduced in the “Halo” novels written by Greg Bear, and is the first set of new aliens that have been brought into the game franchise since the Covenant in the first “Halo.”

That’s not to say that the Covenant won’t be present in “Halo 4” as well. Whatever uneasy alliance there was at the end of “Halo 3” has since dissipated.

“The alliance with these particular Covenant is gone. Every Covenant that you encounter in ‘Halo 4’ specifically is a bad guy, and that will be very apparent why at the start of the game,” O’Connor said. “[The Covenant and Prometheans] will interact with each other and in various different ways. Sometimes they’ll be cooperating with you and other elements they’ll be resisting each other.”

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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