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El Rey León y el Live Action

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No hay consideraciones artísticas de por medio. Lo único cierto es que Disney ha encontrado una nueva mina de oro en rehacer sus clásicos animados, ahora en Acción Real.

 

Pese a lo que muchos piensan, esto no es algo nuevo. El primer ítem de esta lista data de 1994 y fue El Libro de la Selva. Dirigida por Stephen Sommers y con Jason Scott Lee como protagonista. La cinta pasó con más pena que gloria y prácticamente nadie la recuerda.

Pero dos años más tarde el estudio dio el primer gran aviso de lo que se venía. En noviembre de 1996 se estrenó 101 Dálmatas, con Glenn Close recibiendo solo halagos por su interpretación de Cruella de Vil. Más de 320 millones de dólares en taquilla dieron pie a una segunda parte estrenada en 2000, pero no tan exitosa.

 

Disney después de Alicia

 

El verdadero furor empezó 2010 con el estreno de Alicia en el país de las maravillas. Dirigida por Tim Burton y ampliamente alabada por sus efectos visuales y su dirección de arte Más de 1.000.000 USD en recaudación abrieron una grieta que parece no cerrarse nunca.

 

Luego siguieron Oz the great and powerful de Sam Raimi (2013), Maléfica de Robert Stromberg (2014), Cenicienta de Kenneth Branagh (2015) y una nueva versión de El Libro de la Selva de Jon Favreau (2016)Con esta cinta comenzó el debate sobre el live action. Todo lo que se ve en la pantalla, salvo el personaje de Mowgli, interpretado por Neel Sethi, fue creado por ordenador


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También en 2016 se estrenó Alicia a través del espejo. Dirigida por James Bobin, el único filme en la lista de adaptaciones en acción real de Disney tachada como un fracaso. Aunque esta cinta no califica exactamente como un remake, sino como una secuela.

 

Más adelante llegaron Pete’s Dragon de David Lowery (2016) y la que hasta la fecha es la más exitosa de todas: La Bella y la Bestia de Bill Condon (2017).

 

2019: clásicos de Disney X3

 

Durante este año el imperio del ratón Mickey, además de cerrar la tercera fase del Universo Cinematográfico de Marvel con Avengers: Endgame (la nueva película más taquillera de la historia), también ha apostado con fuerza a los remakes en live action de sus clásicos animados.

 

El primero de ellos fue Dumbo, con Tim Burton repitiendo como director. Siguió Aladdin de Guy Ritchie, hasta llegar a El Rey León de Jon Favreau.

 

¿Hacía falta El Rey León?

 

Acuñar el término de ‘película innecesaria’ es relativamente común dentro del cine hollywoodense. Sobre todo cuando se trata de secuelas y remakes. Dumbo y Aladdin (pese al extraordinario éxito económico de la segunda) recibieron de gran parte de la crítica esta calificación. Lo mismo está ocurriendo con la reinterpretacion de Favreau de la cinta de animación ‘tradicional’ más exitosa de Disney.

 

Lo que más se cuestiona es que no existe tal reinterpretación. Es una copia casi exacta y plano por plano de la fuente original. Lo novedoso es la técnica empleada para animar las imágenes. Porque este Rey León no es un filme de live action. A diferencia de El Libro de la Selva, aquí no hay nada real. (Salvo el cuadro inicial que según lo dicho por el director, sí es una imagen que se filmó en África y que se colocó para probar si el público era capaz de notar la diferencia.)

Nadie duda de la calidad visual de esta cinta. Con todo y que en algunas escenas se le ‘notan las costuras’. Pero el hecho que se repita exactamente el mismo cuento, sin añadir ninguna sorpresa, termina por aburrir. Pero con más de 750 millones de dólares en recaudación durante los primeros siete días, ¿qué más da?

Entertainment

Microsoft isn’t renaming Xbox Live and has ‘no plans’ to discontinue Xbox Live Gold

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Microsoft isn’t planning to rename Xbox Live or discontinue Xbox Live Gold. Rumors of an Xbox Live rename appeared this week, after Microsoft announced changes to its services agreement. The software giant started referring to Xbox Live as the “Xbox online service,” prompting some to assume Xbox Live was going away.

“The update to ‘Xbox online service’ in the Microsoft Services Agreement refers to the underlying Xbox service that includes features like cross-saves and friend requests,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “This language update is intended to distinguish that underlying service, and the paid Xbox Live Gold subscription. There are no changes being made to the experience of the service or Xbox Live Gold.”

Recent rumors have also speculated that Xbox Live Gold is going away or perhaps even being made free. I asked Microsoft to comment on the rumors, and the company said: “We have no plans to discontinue Xbox Live Gold at this time. It is an important part of gaming on Xbox today, and will continue to be in the future.”

While it’s clear Xbox Live Gold isn’t going away, Microsoft’s statement doesn’t mean the service won’t be made free at some point in the future. Microsoft still requires Xbox One owners, and potentially Xbox Series X owners, to purchase an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play multiplayer games online. Windows 10 players of Xbox Live-enabled games do not require the same subscription, however.

This split gets especially tricky for games like Halo Infinite, which Microsoft has promised will have a free-to-play multiplayer mode. If Microsoft does continue Xbox Live Gold as a paid service on Xbox consoles, then PC players will get totally free access to Halo Infinite and Xbox players will not.

Microsoft isn’t specifically commenting about the free rumors around Xbox Live, which started when the company removed the 12-month option for Xbox Live Gold from its online store last month. It’s clear today that the company isn’t planning on discontinuing Xbox Live Gold specifically or renaming Xbox Live.

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Fall Guys is the feel-good game of the summer

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The latest craze on Twitch is Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, a game about squeaky little critters that compete in a series of challenges to be the last bean standing. It’s an adorable, madcap little game that feels like a mashup of battle royale and Nickelodeon Guts.

Each “show” begins with 60 players who have to beat various challenges to qualify for the next round and keep playing. It only took me a day to sample all of the game’s challenges, but there’s enough variety on day one to keep things interesting, and most of the challenges are pretty light and entertaining. There are a bunch of obstacle courses and mini-games, including memory-matching, football, and an egg-hoarding challenge that’s basically just Hungry Hungry Hippos. The controls are simple and only took me a few minutes to master; you can only run, jump, dive, and grab things.

Fall Guys is a delightful and colorful trifle: the perfect counter-programming to the year 2020. Battle royale games used to feel fast and exciting to me, but they’ve largely become dark and stressful slogs with awkward pacing and too much waiting time. Fall Guys avoids these pitfalls by lowering the stakes, cutting out a lot of waiting time, and providing plenty of charming and kinetic goofs. When I fail in Fall Guys, I often end up laughing at myself. If you get disqualified, it’s easy to join a new game and start playing again right away. And even if you qualify through to the end, most matches only last about 15 minutes from start to finish.

I don’t see the game having the quarantine staying-power of something like Animal Crossing unless developer Mediatonic adds dozens of challenges to prevent repetition. (Side-note: the company’s overly-thirsty social media presence almost turned me off to the game before I was able to play it, so engage with Fall Guys tweets at your own risk.) But for now, at least before Twitch’s most popular streamers ditch it and go back to Call of Duty, Fall Guys is the perfect game for a horrible moment in time.

Fall Guys is $19.99 and available now for PC and PS4.

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Fortnite adds sports cars, pickups, and trucks with new Joy Ride update

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Fortnite has finally added cars to the game with its latest update: Joy Ride.

The battle royale title has had plenty of vehicles come and go over past updates, including planes, helicopters, boats, golf carts, driftboards, and ATVs, but plain old cars are a new addition. Their introduction was teased back in the trailer for the Chapter 2: Season 3 launch that flooded the map, but are now available with the game’s latest update.

So far there seem to be just four types of car available. There’s the middle-of-the-road Islander Prevalent, the sporty Victory Motors Whiplash, the OG Bear pickup, and the Titano Mudflap big rig. They’re easy enough to find around the map, though you will have to keep them topped up with gas (which you can find at gas pumps or in throwable gas cans).

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In our brief time using the cars, they definitely seem like they’ll change some of the game’s dynamics. They not only allow fast movement across some of the more inaccessible parts of the map but are pretty deadly, too. It’s not hard to get some quick eliminations just by running people down, and they’re hardy enough to smash through walls. The different cars have different top speeds and health bars depending on their make, but they can generally take a beating.

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the cars, though, is that they come with radio stations, although at the time of writing these have been “temporarily disabled.” We’ve seen reports and videos of cars playing tracks from the likes of Lady Gaga, Drake, and Ariana Grande. But it seems you’ll have to wait to hear the music yourself.

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