Eight Fun Mobile Games to Play When You are Really Bored

We’ve all been there, bored out of our wits, stuck at home, waiting for the train or traveling with the bus, and we have all wished to be relieved of that boredom. So, what can be done about it? There are actually lots of things you can do. One of them is playing online casino games, and if you don’t already then we suggest giving it a try. It is an amazing way to deal with boredom. There are so many games on offer, meaning, so many ways to kill time.

  • Neo Monsters. Let’s start with a real old-school game, we are talking about Neo Monsters, available on both iOS and Android, it is monster collecting battle with cool graphics reminscient of Game Boy and old Super Nintendo. We are very happy to recommend this game for all of you.
  • Townsmen. This is an awesome game, reminiscent of the game settlers, which was a big thing a few years back. It’s a simulator, where the goal is to create a town, by using resources and by creating new ones. The idea is to be strategic as well as a good tactician, in order to complete different assignments with respects to the town you are building, in order to succeed.
  • Jackpot Paradise. It is not possible to recommend games to kill the boredom, without recommending this extraordinary Casino site, this is quite a new name in the online gambling world, and yet, it is already well known and well liked. The site offers a great Welcome Bonus for new players. How about 10 free Slots and up to £200 matching bonuses? Go to Jackpot Paradise and check it out.
  • KleptoCats. One might argue that this is a game for children, however, we couldnt disagree more. Who does not love cats? And why cannot an adult play game be both cute and funny? Why not play a game where you own a bunch of adorable cleptomaniac cats that will bring you all kinds of stuff for your room? Sounds weird? It is, but we promise you will also find it interesting and hilarious. The game is available on both iOS and Android.
  • Bet365. There is no way presenting a list of hilarious and fun online games without mentioning Bet365. This is a great Casino and Sports Betting site that offers its own Casino application. The site’s Casino app is powered by Playtech, and as such, it offers some of the best games around. There are Slots as well as Live Casino games on offer, such as Roulette and Blackjack.
  • Trivia Crack. Here is yet another great game, fun to play, together with your friends. This is an application, a multiplayer application in reality, that offers a trivia game concerning completely useless information. We liked it a lot when trying it out, it gave us quite a few laughs. If you have great remote friends, then this is the game for you, and you will most likely share a lot of laughters from afar.
  • Lucky Nugget. We present to you, yet another great Casino appliction. This is a great site with a good reputation that has been around for more than 10 years in total. When the site receantly launched its own Casino application few were surprised as it was a great way for it to notch up its success a bit. Lucky Nugget is powered by the amazing Microtech and installing on your mobile device unlocks 50 free spins for real money.
  • Twofold. This beautifully designed puzzle game is a real mental challenge, it offers great gameplay as well as lots of fun. For those of you that have played Candy Crush, this game is the perfect continuation of your gaming career. However, the game is a bit tricky from the get go and it requires a little bit of getting used to. The tutorial is great though, and so with lots of help, the players are eased into the role of Twofold-players.

 

Tips to Remember While Playing Scratch Card Games Online

Scratch card games are the easiest games available on the online space. There are no strategies involved in playing them. The rules are simple and the gameplay is quite easy and interesting. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to match at least three identical symbols by scratching the cards.

Each scratch card game offers a distinct payout and the highest payout is being awarded for scratching and matching the symbols. The important thing before you get started is to make sure you have placed the betting amount/ wagering money.

Tips

  • Identify an online or Mobile casino that offers the best collection of scratch cards. This makes sure that you get entertainment along with lucrative wins.
  • There are some fantastic welcome bonus packages offered by the casinos, so claim your welcome bonus and spend it on the scratch card games. You can go for themed scratch cards, be more precise and clear, and check the software developer’s name before you choose to play.
  • Select the scratch card game which offers huge wins or rather have won huge money for players in the past. On any casino’s website, the names of the winners are always mentioned.
  • Scratch card games have to be played with an intention of winning some multipliers and not losing. As many of the scratches have smaller wins they also get you the huge jackpot wins. So remember that you are playing them to win so spend the betting money wisely.
  • The wins are also determined on the money that you have placed. If you have wagered £10 and you match the symbols which give you x7, then you win £70.
  • All the scratch card games have a demo mode. Make sure you practice the game first and then go on to play in a real money mode.
  • Play with a clear intention of fun and entertainment and hence spend smaller betting amounts. This will ensure that you are gambling safely.

Some of the Renowned Scratch Card Games

Some of the top-most scratch card games that are worth trying for are:

  • Germinator
  • Doctor Love
  • Doctor Love on Vacation
  • Foxin Wins
  • Emperor’s Garden
  • The Codfather Scratch

Summary

Scratch Card games are simply fun to play and are entertaining. Make sure you play them and win fantastic cash awards. Make sure you gamble responsibly by placing smaller bets first and then go for betting on the higher amounts.

Video Games Development For 2017

Are you someone who gets excited about new games that are introduced for a gaming console or for a mobile device? Many types of games are introduced each year in hopes of being the next big hit. Most games are often based on a theme or genre depending on what is is. This is the reason there are games based on movies, comic characters, and many others. In fact, video games development for 2017 could offer a few titles that may be unexpected.

Red Flush Online Casino is a great place to go to find many types of fun and exciting video slots. Why not try new online slots machines here today?

One thing to keep in mind about the development of new video games is that the process is typically a marathon and not a sprint. This is the reason for delays that often occur or why a proposed title will be changed more than once before the final product is released. However, this does not mean fans are not looking forward to new games being released this year.

 

Resident Evil 7 – Biohazard

The Resident Evil franchise has been popular for many years and every new game offers the chance to see something new. Horror games are becoming more popular and means games that were not a top hit can be reinvented for a new audience. Games that are updated for changing times often have a surge in popularity when updated with new foes and tough puzzles to solve.

 

Mass Effect – Andromeda

This is the a new game in this series that takes place after the third game in a trilogy. The popularity of the original three games led to the decision to release an updated game in 2017. Decision making is the major part of this game and newest game will have all new choices to make. Will you be ready for the challenges you may face?

 

Prey

This game may appear like a sequel to a game released back in 2006, but this is not the case. The game has players stranded on a space station that is being overrun by aliens. If you are into first shooter style games, then this one should be an exciting one to play. The only problem is finding a weapon available to use to defend yourself.

 

Tacoma

Fans of spooky games will enjoy this new game slated for release in 2017. Players will be exploring a space station where a crew has seemingly disappeared. This game is a sequel to a 2013 release that was about a young woman in a home where everyone was away for the night. Finding out what happened is likely to be a terrific and maybe a worrying experience.

 

Red Dead Redemption 2

This is the newest release from the same developers who made Grand Theft Auto. The game offers you a western feel as there are beautiful landscapes with a story of a criminal who is trying to atone for his past deeds. Keep in eye out as this game could end up being the most anticipated game of 2017.

 

Related Content

A New Way to Play: Why Canadians Love Casino Games

Insurance?

Insurance?” (CC BY 2.0) by banspy

Canadians love to gamble. In fact, they love it so much that’s it’s one of the hottest forms of entertainment across the country right now. According to Statista, Canadian casinos raked in more than $6 billion over a 12-month period in 2016, which is up more than $500 million compared to 2006, according to statcan.gc.ca. Much of the recent rise in gaming activity has been down to growth of online casinos.

With virtual platforms offering easy access to traditional games such as roulette and blackjack, more Canadians have had the opportunity to dip their toes in the gaming waters. In fact, to increase participation further, many of the major operators actually offer free-play games. Identical to the real thing but without the cost, these games have served as a great introductory tool which has then given more people the impetus to play some casino classics.

As more Canadians take to the Internet or their local casinos to play the odds, we thought we’d take a look at some of their favoured games and features.

A Little Extra Something

6/365 I'm All in !!!!

6/365 I’m All in !!!!” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by RTD Photography

Everyone loves something for nothing and that becomes clear when you look through the roster of Canadian casinos out there. For example, at casinobonusonline.ca, a casino review site, you’ll notice that the top ranked sites have more than $4,000 in free (or bonus as it’s called) cash available.

In contrast to live casinos, online sites actively reward new players with a bonus and this review site’s top six is a prime example of that. Indeed, if you look at the top of the shop, 888casino, the site’s reviewers have found that you can claim as much as $2,388 in bonus cash. Deals like this not only show how Canadians want something more when they ante up, but they want variety and depth so they can find a deal that suits their needs.

Slots Are a Money Spinner

Winning Slot

Winning Slot” (CC BY 2.0) by cletch

When it comes to games, Canadians appear to have an affinity for slots. Look through the lobby of any leading operators, from All Slots and Spin Palace to 888 and beyond, slots are the most numerous games. Although each site will have a different line-up, it’s not uncommon to see in excess of 100 games inside a single lobby. One of the reasons these games are appealing is their themes. Much like pinball machines like Stern’s Spiderman offering, slots take stories and icons from popular culture, from movies to video games, as we’ve discussed on mediamikes.com before, and turn them into a high-octane game.

In terms of specifics, progressive jackpot slots are the most popular variant. From Mega Moolah to Leprechaun’s Luck, these games take a small percentage from each player’s bet, put it into a communal pot and then pay out a prize when someone hits the magic combination. The result of this system is jackpots that often top $1 million. Unsurprisingly, being able to stake a few dollars and win a life-changing sum is hugely appealing and that’s why these games are now popular with Canadian players.

Cross-Channel Entertainment

Sport bets

Sport bets” (CC BY 2.0) by tjschloss

As much as casino games are great, too much of anything can become tedious. To counter this, many of the top Canadian online casinos offer something on top of their table games. For example, online-casinogames.ca notes that its top ranked sites offer a wide variety of betting options. From classic casino games like blackjack and roulette to live dealer tables (games with real people on the screen), dice games and “number based games” are all available in the online arena.

Having some sort of diversity is crucial because every player is different. Indeed, to ensure the casino industry remains a mainstream endeavour, operators have to cover as many bases as possible. Much like social gaming developer Zynga.com has everything from Words with Friends to poker to cover a broad spectrum, the top Canadian online casinos will offer the widest variety of betting options as possible.

Casino gaming isn’t a niche activity anymore. Thanks to the online world’s bonuses, variety and accessibility, everyone of legal age is now finding some fun in the casino arena.

 

Great online games to avoid the holiday blues!

During this holiday season, many people get what’s called the holiday blues. If you don’t get to share your holidays with a family or love ones, they can get a little down. I usually like to loose myself online and just browse around and play games. There are tons are great online games to pass the time and even in cases make you some of that holiday money back.

Whether you are a MMORPG video game players or someone that likes to hit the slots virtually. Here is one of the must visit sites, 888 casino bonus, which features everything from online casinos to roulette to automatic games. There are more than 200 games to choose from with HUGE jackpots and instant bonuses, in addition.

If you prefer MMORPG games, then you can check out another must play, Legend of Heroes, which is an online MMORPG and MMO game. This game has been out for a few years now and still drawing in a huge audience. So whether it be online gaming or guilding these are a few good ones to battle to holiday blues!

Movies theme online casino games

Movies theme online casino games continue to be some of the most popular of all of the online casino games, even when compared with all of the online casino games and not just the fun mobile games. People love the games that give them a certain degree of familiarity, which is certainly the case with movies theme online casino games. People like to be able to revisit the movie scenarios and images that helped to make them happy at different points, and movies theme online casino games can do the trick in a way that simply watching the movies again never will.

When people go the casinopokiesonline.com.au, they are going to find so many online casino slot games that it is going to be difficult for them to keep track. The Australian public seems to have a special affinity for online pokies in particular. Around eighty percent of Australians today play some sort of online casino games, and the online casino slot games are usually at the top of the list for them. While many of the movies featured in the movie themed online casino slot games are specifically American films, Hollywood movies have managed to achieve a level of international recognition that people all around the world are still going to be able to identify with them. The people who go to the casinopokiesonline.com.au website from Australia are going to love the Terminator games as much as the majority of Americans who play this famous online casino slot game series.

The Dark Knight series is one of the most popular of the movies theme online casino games. The Dark Knight series was and still is one of the most popular film series ever released, and it makes perfect sense that a gaming series based on this film series would be just as popular. Naturally, this is also a recent movie series from the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, which makes it that much more understandable that people today are still huge fans of it. The Terminator series has a great deal of enduring popularity, even though it has been some time since a film in that series has been released and people seem to have changed some of their opinions on some of the lead actors since this time period.

The Jurassic Park series of online slot games is also one of the most famous of the online movie themed slot games that people will find today. One of the advantages of this series is the simple fact that Jurassic Park is still an ongoing series as opposed to an old one. However, older series are getting resurrected all the time, so it is possible that this is going to happen again with some other movie series in order to create new online casino slot games. This is the era of cinematic television, and people are now playing slot games based on television series like Game of Thrones. Movies theme online casino games and similar games will only get more popular.

Get a fix of your favorite movie characters with online scratch games

Today, you can play virtually any game you can think of online, and whatever you’re interested in, you’ll find an online game that’s linked to that interest. One of the latest real money games you can play online are online scratch cards – just like the ones you’ll find at the newsagents or in other shops, but now much more entertaining thanks to the variety of games you can play and the great graphics and sound effects they come with.

Of course, there is a huge range of different sites to play scratch games at, and an even bigger number of different scratch card games to choose from. So, if you’re interested in finding a great site to play at, or want to know what the most popular scratch card games are, then head to a review site like Gr8 Scratchcard to see which games are hot at the moment.

Gr8 Scratchcard not only gives in-depth reviews of different scratch games, but it also tells you where to find free scratch games to play online. This is great when you want the fun of playing, but you don’t want to pay to play. There are a surprising number of free scratch games available online, and it’s a great way to spend a few minutes of downtime as you can play wherever you have an internet connection. You can also find out which sites offer the best welcome bonuses for new players.

 

 

Thanks to the massive amount of interest in superheroes generated through the success of the Marvel film franchise with movies such as the Iron Man trilogy and those films featuring DC superheroes, Batman vs Superman: The Dawn of Justice to name one, you can play plenty of scratch games that feature superheroes and other film characters. The Superman scratch card game has a maximum prize of £100,000 to play for. One of the many free games that can be played directly through Gr8 Scratchcard is the X-Men scratch. The object of the game is to find two identical symbols, two symbols belonging to the same group or a Wild and a symbol of any group, in order to win prizes. All of the cards feature different characters from X-Men. Players can choose to play from 1 to 6 cards per game, so when you’re playing for real cash, keep an eye on the total you’re betting each time.

Some online scratch games are pretty similar to the traditional paper version you’d buy in the shops. For instance with the Iron Man 2 game, once you’ve chosen your stake, you then scratch the nine panels to see if a prize is waiting for you underneath. If you don’t want the suspense factor as you play, an autoplay function allows you to automatically scratch a set number of cards to play the game and cut straight to the chase to see if you’re a winner.

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Indiana jones scratch cards. I couldn’t” (CC BY 2.0) by seamus_walsh

CAPTION: One of the most striking differences between online scratch cards and paper ones is that the online ones have great graphics and sound effects

The Rocky scratch game includes video action – which adds to the entertainment of the game. You choose which of three opponents Rocky will square up to, and when you’ve scratched the panel, a video of their fight plays through. If Rocky knocks out his opponent, then you land a win – to the value of the prize that you’ve revealed. However, if he loses, so do you. You get to scratch the panels to watch the other fights too, but only your first choice counts for your bet. These are just a few of the scratch card games available online. Whenever you want a quick bit of entertaining fun along with the possibility of a great cash prize, try your luck with an online scratch card.

 

Related Content

Adventure Games That Made It Big in Vegas

Video games (as your Nan used to call them) have crossed over into many other genres in popular culture. There was a time – if you care to remember the days of Atari’s and ZX Spectrum’s – when games were just games; standalone titles with their own original plots, and let’s be honest here, generally basic gameplay.

How times have changed. Complex storylines, online play, 3D graphics and vast budgets have made gaming unrecognisable compared to those glorious and innocent early days (I’m still fond of Pacman!). It was way back in 1976 when the first game to be based on a movie was released – Death Race was an arcade game based on the cult 1975 film of the same name – and by the early 1980’s developing games from movies was all the rage. The likes of Tron, Alien and King Kong were all given the treatment for the Atari 2600, with Raiders of the Lost Ark becoming the first officially licensed game-from-a-movie in 1982. It was quickly followed by Star Wars and E.T., although the latter became an infamous flop and the subject of an urban legend.

The line between the two industries has become progressively blurred over the years, and the release of the Super Mario Bros. movie in 1993, heralded a new era where all of a sudden video games started to become the inspiration for films. Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat quickly followed, while classic games like Doom, Resident Evil and Tomb Raider were developed into movies in the early 2000’s. This trend shows little sign of stopping, with an eye-watering 30 plus games currently being made into movies. These include Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty, and if they’re as good as movies as they are as games, I can’t wait!

However, it isn’t just the film industry that has borrowed inspiration from gaming, and some of these well-known adventure titles have also made their way to the bright lights of Las Vegas. The Arcade and slots industry has always overlapped with the gaming industry (some software firms such as Konami actually develop both slot machines and video games), and it made perfect sense for slot-makers to latch onto the popular themes.

Better graphics and faster software have made today’s video slot machines much more of ‘gaming-like’ experience rather than a simple ‘one-armed bandit’ style slots experience. Animations and high-quality graphics have drastically changed the look of slots, and bonus games can take on a much more complex nature than ever before. Some of these games get pretty close to playing the real thing, and what’s more, you can win money playing them! It just doesn’t get much better than that, and below you can find five of the best adventure games that made it all the way to Vegas:

  1. Dungeon and Dragons

A classic; it’s as simple as that. A classic franchise of cartoons, books, toys, movies, and of course games. The Dungeons and Dragons: Fortress of Fortunes slot machine by software house, IGT, took the theme to Las Vegas in 2009 and it’s proven to be one of the most popular slots at land-based and online casinos.

It features five reels and twenty pay lines, and gives you the option to play as one of three warrior heroes. The background and sound effects behind the slot provide an air of fantasy, and wins are accompanied by mystical music. A free spins bonus game takes you into a dungeon with up to five levels where you can earn extra multipliers by defeating enemies with the roll of a virtual dice.

It’s an iconic game, but could be surpassed in the next few years, by an officially licensed slot from Konami Gaming Inc. The software giant and its Las Vegas subsidiary, KGI, signed an agreement with Hasbro to develop a Dungeons and Dragons game using the original cast of characters. The slot is aimed at land-based casinos and attracting a younger generation of players, and will feature two games – ‘Conquests and Treasures’ and ‘Enchanted Riches’ – in pods of 2, 3, or 4 machines. The pods will include high quality chairs, custom logos and a themed bezel with authentic designs.

  1. Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider was an iconic game of its time, and Angelina Jolie made the movie equally as iconic when it was released in 2001. The franchise has spawned books, comics, toys, and several sequel games, as well as a classic Vegas slot machine.

Microgaming is the software giant behind the slot machine, which features five reels, 15 pay lines and a max. bet of 75 coins. The Graphics are crisp and sharp, with symbols such as a tiger, gadgetry and Lara Croft herself earning the wins. There is a ‘Tomb Raider’ wild symbol which can substitute for other symbols to create winning combinations, and the game features two different bonus rounds. The scatter symbol is a gun-toting Lara Croft, and if she appears on 3, 4, or 5 of the reels she will launch the free spins round. There is also a bonus symbol, which is signified by a golden idol, and launches the tomb bonus round – a pick ‘em style game where you get to choose three from a number of idols to reveal three cash prizes.

The franchise is one of the most popular of the last 15-20 years, and changed the face of video gaming. It has taken Vegas by storm too, and become one of the most popular slot machines out there.

  1. Worms

Yes, that’s right. Worms. The brilliantly addictive game that is so simple in style but so engrossing to play. Well it’s also been made into an online slot, and it will come as no surprise to learn that it is incredibly popular.

Everything about the slot is as colourful and humorous as the original game, and it features many of the classic sound effects too. It has five reels and a whopping 50 pay lines, with some great animated symbols of the crazy worms with ridiculously large weapons. Remember waiting for supply crates to parachute down from the sky with new weapons? They’re here too, and are used as a bonus symbol to launch the feature round when three or more land on the reels. The bonus round lets you select one of three crates to win one of the three different bonus games. These are a ‘space trail bonus’, a ‘crate escape’ game, and a ‘free spins battle’ bonus; each of which could earn a top jackpot of $500.

There are other great little quirks like a hand grenade which drops onto the reels and explodes, turning another symbol wild; and the infamous shout of ‘incoming’ when two crates land on the reels and you await the third. With equally addictive gameplay, it’s no wonder this slot has become so popular among video gamers as well as casino regulars.

  1. The Dark Knight Rises

The Batman franchise has been around since video games and online slots were the vision of a distant future, with his first appearance coming in a 1939 comic book. However, the caped crusader has been the subject of numerous video games over the last twenty years on a huge variety of platforms, and he deserves a mention here as he remains one of the most popular figures in Las Vegas (on the slot machines, at least).

The Dark Knight Rises is an adaptation of the final instalment of Christopher Nolan’s dark trilogy, starring Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman. The game is a cutting edge video slot, which does away with standard reels and features 243 ways to win. The Graphics are superb and include real footage from the movie; while a bonus feature where Batman fights Bane rewards players with free spins and multipliers.

This is part of a new wave of slot machines which are moving away from the traditional ‘fruit machine’ style gaming, and incorporating much more interactive gaming features. It’s naturally popular in bricks-and-mortar casinos due to the popularity of the films, and it’s also made a big splash in the online world. It’s an absolute visual treat, and well worth checking out.

  1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Well, if we’re talking about popular games it would be remiss not to mention the behemoth of the gaming world that is Call of Duty. It has arguably become the single most popular gaming series of all time, and continues to captivate the soldier inside all of us the world over. It should come as no surprise then, that there is a movie in the offing. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has sold over 13 million copies, and the slot machine by Cryptologic has proven to be just as popular in Vegas and online.

The game itself features amazing graphics and animations that are true to the original. Symbols include grenades, gas masks, and assault rifles, across the five reels and 25 pay lines. An animated marine scurries across the front of the reels on some spins, and plants a timed explosive which blows up various symbols, turning them wild and creating winning lines. On other spins a grenade rolls in front of the reels and the explosion causes the same effect. The wild soldier symbol is a nice touch as after the explosion it shows video footage from the game. All of this is before the excellent bonus game which features some great gameplay. It’s launched by landing three of the Call of Duty scatter symbols, and allows players to gain extra wins by targeting and shooting enemies on the battlefield. Up to four free games can be earned by hitting enemy soldiers, with bonus prizes for headshots; and a five-in-a-row kill streak earns an airstrike which rewards players with a multiplier for the free games.

Various other symbols also include game footage, and there is action on practically every spin in this game. Sound effects are perfect for the game, and there is that tense silence between spins before an explosion sets off a hail of gunfire – just like the real game when I play it!

Video Gaming Vegas Style

As seen on VegasSlots.co.uk, a recent change to the laws in Vegas means that casinos can now introduce more skill-based games alongside the archetypal slot machines. This is the industries attempt to convert ‘millennials’ from video gamers to casino goers; and it might just work. The aim is to introduce the skill element and link it to the prizes on the game, so a fast lap or a long kill streak will result in a bigger pay out. Rather than playing a game of chance, players will be able to use their skill at gaming to earn money – and that sounds like a perfect combination to me!

Film Review “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2”

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 137 minutes
Lionsgate

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

It’s a sad day for diehard fans of the “Hunger Games” series, while people like me will remember it for its long drawn-out speeches about war and the long clarifying conversations about the plot after heroine wakes up after getting knocked out. The conclusion to the much beloved series doesn’t go out with a whimper, but it doesn’t go out on a high note either. The “Hunger Games” movies will end as they started, just alright; nothing spectacular.

“Mockingjay – Part 2” picks up right after the ending events of “Mockingjay – Part 1”. Peeta (Hutcherson) has been brainwashed by the Capitol and Katniss (Lawrence) is in shock that man she once began to develop feelings for expresses hate and displeasure to the mere sight of her. Meanwhile the resistance, made of all the Districts, is planning their final assault on the Capitol. They’re led by the suspicious President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore).

Coin plans to keep Katniss safe and out of harm’s way, mainly wielding Katniss as a propaganda piece, much like Katniss was in the first “Mockingjay” movie. That doesn’t sit well with Katniss who stows away, joining soldiers on the front line as they prepare for an invasion. Her ultimate goal for this final chapter is to kill President Snow (Donald Sutherland) with her own bow and arrow.

The real fun, a block by block journey through the heart of the Capitol while alluding deadly booby traps and fighting creatures, doesn’t come until we trudge through long bits of tediously familiar dialogue. The middle of “Mockingjay” should have come sooner, or at least began the movie. Teasing the inevitable action for half an hour is disingenuous for fans and viewers of the movies, adding to the complaint that the “Mockingjay” sequel is too long. While parts of “Mockingjay” work on a superbly entertaining level, too much of it feels like unnecessary filler.

The excessive length takes away from the main theme of the movie, which is fairly basic: war is hell. For being a somewhat anti-war movie, it seems to solve a lot of its problems through violent conflict and murder. The hell aspect of that statement gives viewers some of the series best emotional scenes. The mature content of how painful and heartbreaking war can be, isn’t explored enough. Its message about how difficult the civilian toll during war can be, on either side of the battle, is sandwiched between expositions, taking away from the gut punch it should be. For a series that prides itself off its adult themes, it seems to misjudge how to present its most interesting topic in its final movie.

Overall, I’m not disappointed that I watched these movies. At times I quite enjoyed them, and I think that the series has multiple, bold adult messages directed at an audience with a young, developing mind. Like the others, I have to praise the acting throughout. It’s the best of any young adult franchise, save for the “Harry Potter” series. At the end of the day though, “Harry Potter” handled the split of its final book into two movies, incredibly well, while “Hunger Games” overcompensated for how much content they had to stretch into four hours. “Hunger Games” is another instance where the story would have been much better off as one impactful final movie than two alright flicks.

Blu-ray Review “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1”

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore
Director: Francis Lawrence
Number of discs: 2
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: March 6, 2015
Run Time: 122 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Unlike the rest of the world “The Hunger Games” franchise, hasn’t delivered for me at all. The first one was just one. I thought that “Catching Fire” was awful and “Mockingjay Part 1” is another long drawn out lead in for the final film. Personally, I love Jennifer Lawrence much more than I did after the first Hunger Games and her character is more likable but the film is not. I will definitely watch the second part of this film to finish the series but expectations are low. I think the whole “Part 1” and “Part 2” business of these epic films are really getting old.

Official Premise: The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage.

Lionsgate is delivering this release as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD copy included. Even though, I am not crazy about the film, the Blu-ray merits are very impressive. The 1080p transfer is gorgeous. The CGI in the film is well-blended. I was most impressed with the audio tracks. First we get a Dolby TrueHD Atmos, which basically translates to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for those units that are not compatible. It is an amazing track that delivers the epic feel that the film aims for. There is also an interesting track, which is a 2.0 Dolby Digital Optimized for Late-Night Listening, not very epic but still a neat option.

The special features are also quite impressive. “The Mockingjay Lives: The Making of Mockingjay – Part 1”: is an eight-part feature-length documentary. If you love these films, this is a must watch. There are two featurettes included. The first is “Straight From the Heart: A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman” and the second is “Songs of Rebellion: Lorde on Curating the Soundtrack”. There is also a music video for “Yellow Flicker Beat” from Lorde. Lastly there is an Audio Commentary from Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson and some deleted scenes.

Film Review “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Julianne Moore
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 123 minutes
Lionsgate

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The final piece of a series is no longer a bloated epic detailing the final time we’ll see our heroes, but now cut in half, with the first part generally being the weaker of the two. That makes it easier to scrutiny because of how much of an obvious cash grab it is by the Hollywood executives hoping to squeeze out those last remaining pennies before finding their next franchise to milk. “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part – 1” isn’t about to break that stereotype, but it comes pretty close.

For a movie that seems to be advertised as an explosive and heart pounding action flick, it’s surprisingly thoughtful. “Mockingjay – Part 1” picks up moments after the events of “Catching Fire”. Katniss (Lawrence) is still nursing some mental scars and having to come to terms with the fact that District 12 no longer exists. It’s nothing but rubble and piles of charred bodies. The visuals of blackened skeletons is enough to paint a horrific picture and further imply the brutal extent the Capitol will go to strengthen it’s iron fist grip over the districts.

Katniss is taking refuge underground in District 13, long believed to have suffered the same fate that has recently befallen District 12. There she meets a military society headed by President Alma Coin (Moore). This is the first introduction of President Alma in the series and while it’s easy to trust the person supplying food and supplies, there’s something ominous about a character who never seems to view Katniss more than a puppet for political manipulation. On the other end, Peeta (Hutcherson) is being used to discredit the defiance that grows in the districts.

Katniss and Peeta are clearly being used as propaganda. While Katniss is used to inspire hope to those fighting, through her fiery eyes of anger and bitter words of revenge, it appears that Peeta is nervously regurgitating lines, but we never see or fully know what purpose the Capital is using him for. “Mockingjay” focuses more on President Alma’s use of Katniss to beat the drums of rebellion in the hopes of getting ubiquitous support for their uprising against the Capital. Luckily this disinformation chess match is interrupted by scenes of retaliation around Panem and a third act covert mission to rescue Peeta.

The theme doesn’t say anything new, but it’s refreshing to see a movie, that’s been coined as “young adult”, use such a mature idea in a very presentable and easy to understand fashion. It’s not difficult to see the positive and ill effects of spin that two warring factions can create. Personally, I was expecting CGI explosions and Jennifer Lawrence whipping her hair all about while firing off multiple arrows like Hawkeye in “The Avengers”, but for what we’re given, it is proficient with it’s message and it simply wets our appetites for an explosive finale come next year.

The big problem with the first part of this oversized first course of Mockingjay is that it feels too much like a prologue to something a lot more monumental. There’s a lot of moving pieces, but a lot of downtime that involves staring, sitting and inconsequential dialogue. The obvious payoff for our two hours of time won’t happen until Part 2, but it’d be nice to have some kind of reward for our investment into the lives of these characters. It doesn’t help that Jennifer Lawrence, who’s shown such a wide range of emotions throughout this series, is a bit limited to angry reactions and fear.

Regardless, if it wasn’t for Lawrence’s commanding presence, this movie wouldn’t have the drive and Katniss wouldn’t radiate bravery. All the regulars are back for this movie, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and the stupendously talented Philip Seymour Hoffman. Without this cast, this movie would have fizzled out like “Percy Jackson” or “The Mortal Instruments”. It’ll be easier to reflect on “Part 1” once the series completes next year. We’ll know if it’s a good enough primer for the grand ending we’re all expecting. For now though, it’s simply an appetizer to keep us content until the main course arrives.

Troy Baker talks about video games, voice acting and “Mythos” concert

Troy Baker is one of most well known voice actors in the business. He is known for his roles as Booker DeWitt in “BioShock Infinite”, Joel in “The Last of Us”, Kanji Tatsumi in “Persona 4”, Pain in “Naruto Shippuden”, Hawkeye & Loki in “Avengers Assemble” and The Joker in “Batman: Arkham Origins” and “Batman: Assault on Arkham”. In conjunction with New York Comic Con 2014 and the first annual New York Super Week Festival, Tina Guo will be performing as a guest artist in MYTHOS! A thrilling and unique concert experience, MYTHOS, showcases great music from across the spectrum of modern orchestral genres – inclusive of music from the concert stage, television and film, and video games – featuring the all-star orchestra The Third Estate, conducted by Grammy Award nominee, Austin Wintory, composer of Journey, as well as vocalists from Choral Chameleon.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your involvement with “Mythos” video game concert?
Troy Baker: This counts as a win in my book for social media and for the community of gamers. I was a fan of Journey and especially the music. I reached out to Austin Wintory to compliment him not only on his amazing score but also his subsequent success. That began a long Twitter conversation back and forth about games and how we should collaborate on something musically. Also, competitive cat pictures might have been involved. This happened over at least a year and has culminated into this amazing event.

MG: What do you think that video game music is so important to its fans?
TB: The entire soundscape of a game plays such an integral part in the overall interactive experience. The same is true with movies. Dramatic moments are supported by a musical movement. Games are no different. Everyone can hum the underground tune from Mario Bros, some of us can hum selected themes from Final Fantasy of Metal Gear. What we’ve seen recently is how these thematic musical elements play such a crucial element, almost a character in these games. The main theme and even all the music from The Last of Us is a perfect example of this. Look how much of a role the music in Bioshock Infinite played in the overall experience!

MG: You have voiced many great video games including “Persona 4”, “Diablo III” and upcoming “Batman: Arkham Knight”; what do you enjoy most about video games?
TB: First and foremost I love being a part of making something that I’m going to geek out over later. As a gamer, I get to experience these games on two completely different levels and both are equally magical, first as an actor, then as a player. There’s not too many jobs that can boast that kind of benefit. I love that in the gamespace some no name kid from Texas can be a “leading man” in a huge franchise and maintain some anonymity that allows me to hide behind the character. I always want the role I am playing to take center stage, not me.

MG: Ranging from anime to video games; which is more challenging to work in?
TB: Both have their intrinsic challenges and each job requires a certain skill set. I view myself as a carpenter. I come into every job with my toolbox and I pull out the necessary tool for the job. At it’s root, however, everything I do has a foundation in just being an actor. Sometimes you’ll only use your voice and allow the animators to interpret your performance, others the onus is on you to present that character soup to nuts in your performance.

MG: How was it taking on the role of such an iconic character as The Joker in “Batman: Assault on Arkham”?
TB: In a single word: “humbling”. I grew up on Batman. It was my first comic I ever purchased. I’ve seen everyone from Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and, of course, Mark Hamill portray that role. To in any way be counted among those people, to have stepped into those shoes in any way, is an honor. I would rush home from school to make sure I caught Batman: The Animated Series on TV. Which to me, changed mover animation and how we tell a story in that medium. That show is unparalleled. To be directed by Andrea Romano was nothing short of a dream come true.

MG: What was the best part of getting to voice both Hawkeye and Loki in “Avengers Assemble”?
TB: The fact that they let me! I was cast as Loki first and really thought I would be recast as soon as I was cast in Avengers Assemble as Hawkeye. I’ve always loved Hawkeye, especially after The Ultimates series, because you got to see him as just a guy. Not a superhero with crazy powers, but just someone who is really REALLY good at what they do and can fight shoulder to shoulder along side a god, a gamma freak and a billionaire in an iron suit.

MG: Tell us about your first solo album “Sitting in the Fire”?
TB: It’s been such a labor of love. Some of these songs have been gestating for almost 10 years, waiting for the right time, right place. We finally found both. Our producer, Johnny What, our engineer and mixer Rob King and I, along with our musicians went up into the mountains of Big Bear, California with almost a half a million dollars in gear and tracked this record in an amazing cabin. It was a truly remarkable experience. Death bed moment for me. I’m proud and excited that the album is finally coming out. It’ll be available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and all digital retailers as well as an actual “digital LP” physical copy in select stores October 14th.

Tina Guo talks about music, video games and concert “Mythos”

Tina Guo has developed an international multi-faceted performance and recording career as a classical cellist and heavy metal electric cellist, erhuist, and composer known for her distinctive sound and improvisatory style in major motion picture, television, and game scores. Tina toured with Japanese superstar Yoshiki of X Japan on his Classical World Tour, and recently appeared with the Tenerife Symphony and Choir in the Canary Islands performing “Batman: The Dark Knight” Suite at the 2014 Tenerife International Film Festival, featured on Electric Cello. In conjunction with New York Comic Con 2014 and the first annual New York Super Week Festival, Tina Guo will be performing as a guest artist in MYTHOS! A thrilling and unique concert experience, MYTHOS, showcases great music from across the spectrum of modern orchestral genres – inclusive of music from the concert stage, television and film, and video games – featuring the all-star orchestra The Third Estate, conducted by Grammy Award nominee, Austin Wintory, composer of Journey, as well as vocalists from Choral Chameleon.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your involvement with “Mythos” video game concert?
Tina Guo: I’ve known Austin (Wintory) since University at USC and have enjoyed working with him over the years on all kinds of musical projects! In the Mythos concert, I will be playing cello on 3 different tracks that are based around the music from his Grammy-nominated score for the PS3 game, Journey, on which I did the original solos as well. I’m super excited and can’t wait to perform these completely new arrangements with a fantastic group of musicians in NYC!

MG: How much of a difference is there between the worlds of a classical cellist and heavy metal electric cellist?
TG: All music is music… for me there’s no difference between genres or even in different kinds of art, whether it be playing the cello, singing, dancing, painting… any kind of expression is expression, and some genres or ways of expression may be more suited to expressing different feelings or energies than others, but in the end, everything is simply a reflection of ourselves. I love dichotomy and extremes, and although there are some extremes between classical music and industrial metal, there are also heavy similarities. For me, the passion, depth, and fury expressed in these two genres make them siblings rather than opposite polarities.

MG: You have worked on various video games including “Diablo III” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops II”, what do you enjoy most about the genre?
TG: I love to work on all kinds of recording projects- on the Video Game Scores, working with the composers to create a feeling and bringing their notes and their ideas with what the cello and electric cello can bring mood-wise to the score is super fun! Video Games are an important and popular form of entertainment, and the music is such an integral part of it.

MG: Tell us about your one night only solo show “A Journey Through Music”?
TG: That’s my solo show at the Center for the Arts in Escondido, CA which is a gorgeous 1500 seat theatre in the San Diego area. I’ll be playing everything from classical works by Bach and Vivaldi to my Industrial Metal “Queen Bee” to covers of Beatles and Game of Thrones music. (I love Game of Thrones!!) I’ll be joined by a chamber ensemble of amazing musician friends from Los Angeles, my dad will be making a guest appearance to play the Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto, wonderfully talented Uyanga who is an ethnic Mongolian singer will be performing a few pieces with me, and my husband who composed the final two pieces in the show will be joining us onstage as well on keyboard/samples/electronics for those Trailer Music “Epic Music” songs. The show is sponsored by the Asian Heritage Awards, which is the evening before my show in which I will be receiving the 2014 Award in Innovation. I feel very honored and a little intimidated to be among the award recipients, who include molecular biologists, the scientist who discovered the greenhouse effect of halocarbons and led the first NASA assessment on the climate effects of non-CO2 greenhouse gasses, a California Assembly Speaker, the founder of the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and scientist responsible for uncovering the structure of neuroligin, the founders of the Global Institute of Stem Cello Therapy and Research… etc… and then… there’s me… Tina, the girl who saws wood. *hand to forehead* I’m very grateful for the Asian Heritage Society for sponsoring my solo show however, and I hope that I can express through the multimedia performance my version of Innovation through music and art. You can find more info here: http://artcenter.org/event/tina-guo/

MG: Tell us about your upcoming albums?
TG: I just released an album on Oct 1, 2014 called “Tina Guo & Composers for Charity” which is available on iTunes, Loudr.fm, Google Play, and other digital retailers. 100% of the album proceeds are going directly to The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to support music education in our underfunded music programs here in America. 13 amazing Film, TV, and Video Game Composers (including Austin Wintory) contributed original pieces that feature the cello for the CD.  In February 2015, I will be releasing a Heavy Metal EP of Metal Classics played on Electric Cello with a full band- Raining Blood, Sanitarium, The Trooper, Iron Man, and Cowboys from Hell. The EP features guest guitarists on a few tracks, including my friends Al Di Meola, Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit, and Nita Strauss.

Austin Wintory talks about scoring video games like “Journey” and the concert “Mythos”

Austin Wintory is a composer known best for his scores to the acclaimed video game titles “flOw” and “Journey”. His score for “Journey” was the first video game to ever be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Austin is currently taking the role of conductor for the upcoming concert called “Mythos”, which is a 70 minute continuous musical presentation played by a 15 piece classical ensemble performing live the music of composers for Film, TV and Video Games. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Austin about the concert and what can we expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with conducting the concert “Mythos”?
Austin Wintory: “Mythos” is a concept I first had in 2011, which I conducted as part of a fundraiser for my non-profit Education Through Music – Los Angeles. The idea behind it was to mix together some of the most interesting, engaging music in today’s scene, totally regardless of the media from which it came. I was approached by Peter Sachon about performing video game music during New York Comic Con, and pitched back the idea of reprising “Mythos.” And here we are!

MG: Having done scores for video games like “flOw” and “Journey”; was this a natural transition for you?
AW: Yes I’m fortunate to have lots of conducting opportunities, which I love taking advantage of in the midst of composing commissions. I grew up conducting in concert, but eventually my primary outlet for it was in the recording studio for films or games, so the onslaught of concerts lately has been a joyous return!

MG: When you did the score to “Journey”, did you ever think that this would become a Grammy-nominated score and the only video game every to be nominated in the “Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media” category?
AW: Needless to say, not in the slightest. And now, almost two years later, it’s not really sunken in. It’s no less surreal than it was that day.

MG: What is the video game(s) that influenced you to do what you do?
AW: The infectious and witty nature of Tim Schafer’s games was a big part of my early gaming, and the music Peter McConnell wrote for them was basically the first game music I truly loved. It all culminated in Grim Fandango, which I think is one of the greatest games ever made, and with a score to match. It’s such soulful, passionate music and all around brilliant game.

MG: Why do you think that 8-bit music has stood the test of time and still resonates with fans?
AW: Chiptunes, those authentic early 8-bit hardware-based scores, were a huge musical contribution. There was nothing really like it before then. Electronic music was, before then, an extension of either the classical or rock scenes, using analog synths and tape manipulation and such. This, in games, was something now totally different. I think a big part of why it still resonates today is that the music was forced to distill a lot of dramatic intention into a very narrow bandwidth. But also a lot of game developers AND gamers alike are nostalgic to the games – and game scores – of their childhoods. So it’s gotten a revival as children of the 80s now enter the mainstream of professional game development.

MG: Can you tell us about little bit about what we can expect from upcoming game “ABZÛ”?
AW: Only that it’s still very early, and a massive delight to be re-teaming with Journey’s art director Matt Nava. I’m very very excited about this one!

MG: What can you tell us about your project “Our Curiosity”?
AW: This was a really special and wonderful experience. I’m a die-hard about NASA and scientific literacy in the general public, and this opportunity emerged to pay tribute to the Curiosity Mars Rover. An old friend, astrobiologist Jeff Marlow, had been working directly with the Curiosity team and so were able to get green lit to produce the tribute. We co-wrote the script, and then recorded our two narrators, actress Felicia Day, and acclaimed science educator Neil deGrasse Tyson. After that I wrote the score around the VO performances, and recorded it with a fantastic orchestra in Nashville. We co-directed the film and tossed it back to NASA who put it on YouTube. I like to think of it as an officially-sanctioned fan love letter.

MG: What else do you have in the works for the rest of the year and 2015?
AW: Lots and lots! But I will say, *hopefully* more Mythos performances!

The Cross-Country “Rio 2” Summer Party Tour Stops in 8 Major Markets Bringing Soccer Fever, Games, Samba Lessons, and Fun for the Whole Family!

JOIN THE SUMMER’S BIGGEST PARTY AS
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT BRINGS THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF THE AMAZON TO YOUR HOMETOWN

The Cross-Country RIO 2 Summer Party Tour Stops in 8 Major Markets 
Bringing Soccer Fever, Games, Samba Lessons, and Fun for the Whole Family!

– RIO 2 is on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD July 15 – 

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings the party to the people with its cross country RIO 2 Summer Party Tour. Families will have plenty of reason to shake a tail feather down to the tour; it’s full of interactive activities for all ages including portable viewing stations to watch soccer games, live from Rio; screenings of RIO 2; Samba performances and lessons; customizable Carnival masks; soccer challenges, and much more! All guests can also turn their fun into a global sensation by joining a cross country karaoke   from the party via the sing- and dance-along photo booth.

SCHEDULE: 

Date City Venue Event Times Game Times
Monday, 6/30 New York South Street Seaport 12-6:30pm ET 12 & 4pm ET
Tuesday, 7/1 Philadelphia Franklin Square 12-6:30pm ET 12 & 4pm ET
Saturday, 7/5 Atlanta Mall of Georgia 12-6:30pm ET 12 & 4pm ET
Tuesday, 7/8 Cincinnati Riverfront Park Smale Field 1-6pm ET 3pm ET
Wednesday, 7/9 Chicago Kohl Children’s Museum 1:30-6:30pm CT 3pm CT
Saturday, 7/12 St. Louis St. Louis Galleria 1-6pm CT 3pm CT
Monday, 7/14 Dallas The Parks at Arlington 12-5pm CT N/A
Friday, 7/18 Los Angeles Hollywood & Highland Center 12-5pm PT N/A
.

With the Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD release right around the corner, Fox Home Entertainment will bring the party from the Amazon this summer with a bunch of family-friendly fiestas across the country. You can find the Summer Party Tour any time of day, check out pictures from the tour, follow the GPS enabled tour bus, and explore all sorts of RIO 2 goodies at www.rio2summertour.com.  Follow the tour on social media with #rio2summertour.