Film, Netflix and gaming: What you should be checking out
Avengers: Endgame (AGE)
What an epic journey we’ve been through. We don’t think even Marvel knew just how big the MCU was going to be until Avengers rocked our world, and certainly not Edward Norton. Mark Rufallo must be counting his lucky stars. But after a decade of Oscar highs and disastrous lows — thanks, Thor: The Dark World — we’ve come to the end. But, we also definitely haven’t.
With a (literal) snap of a finger, audiences of Avengers: Infinity War went absolutely nuts over the fate of our superheroes, some of whom we’ve come to (sometimes) love. As we know, Marvel loves to keep all “hush-hush” about upcoming movies, but what we do know is Endgame takes place right after the shocking events of Infinity War — half the universe is gone, our ragtag team of leftovers are in ruin and Iron Man is floating around in space talking to his helmet. But it wouldn’t be a movie if everything was all doom and gloom. We still have Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Racoon and Ant-Man, who somehow made it out of this small predicament. Together they’ll aim to track down Thanos and undo all those disintegrations. We believe they will, though, as we’ve already seen Spider-Man swinging into action in his sequel trailer. Spoilerish? Sure, but all we want to see is the Avengers save the day once again, all with that typical Marvel humour.
Will Thanos be defeated? Who will survive? Will Captain America shave his beard? This is it, folks.
In cinemas April 25
Dragged across Concrete (18)
Knowing that this comes from the mind behind brutal cult hits Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99 immediately tells us this crime-drama will be nothing short of gruesome — we can’t wait. Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn star as two cops who are suspended after a video of them rough-housing a criminal goes viral. With no cash and no other options, they take to a life of crime to get the money they deserve, but the duo are in well over their heads. In cinemas now.
The Wind (18)
Are people just hearing whispers in the wind or are they slowly going insane? That’s basically the premise of this slow-burn western-horror, delving into themes of trust, isolation and all-round creepiness. It follows a couple of farmers out in the middle of nowhere back in the 1800s, where the wind apparently never stops. Ooh, scary. But when they meet their strange new neighbours, they start experiencing peculiar and horrific events.
In cinemas now.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part two (18)
The wicked half-witch of Greendale is back, and she’s opted to take a slightly darker path this time around. Expect all the usual coming-of-age drama as a splash of monsters meddle with her not-so-normal life, and plenty of fashionable evil beings. Also, is it just us or has Sabrina gotten even more blonde? It’s witchcraft!
Out now on Netflix
Shovel Knight Showdown (PEGI 12)
Who knew this nostalgic 2D platformer would be such a hit? Well, it’s back with yet another update, this time pitting every character in an all-out brawl. Bringing together its slew of interesting knights, including Specter Knight, King Knight and, erm, Propeller Knight, players will be duking it out to get the most gems — Super Smash Bros. style.
Out now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch
Mortal Kombat 11
Back in the ‘90s, when the first Mortal Kombat hit the arcades, the goriest move players were able to pull off was an uppercut to take their opponents’ head off their shoulders. At the time, it was a gruesome (yet oh-so satisfying) move — in fact, the 2D violence is what led to the establishment of the ESRB age rating system in gaming. Over 25 years later comes Mortal Kombat 11, and all that 2D-pixelated violence pales in comparison to the sheer absurdity of gore in developer NetherRealm Studios’ latest fighting game.
We could go on about all the fatalities, including fan-favourite Scorpion diving through his opponent’s torso in a burst of flame, slicing off their head only to kick it away like a football (see what we mean?), but Mortal Kombat is way more than just over-the-top combat. Without meddling with the formula too much, the latest in the series brings together the simple-to-pick-up yet extremely diverse gameplay mechanics, different characters and brutality from past games, while ramping it up with new fighters, a serious boost in graphics and a fresh combat system.
Combos are still (ironically) alive and well, but are shorter and simpler to pull off this time around. That doesn’t mean it’s any easier, as that gives players more time to set up chain combos. Those are infuriating to get caught up in, but satisfying to actually pull off. There’s also more environmental elements at play, with traps and interactive weapons in each stage. We’re talking chainsaws lying around and jets to bounce opponents off.
It wouldn’t be an MK game without a varied list of daunting characters, and there are over 25 new challengers and old favourites to choose from. Of course, gamers can expect to hear “Get Over Here” from Scorpian once again, along with Sub Zero, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, but we’re also getting brand-new heavy hitters. There’s Cetrion, a manipulator of the elements (Avatar-style) whose main perk seems to be squashing enemies with boulders (ouch), along with Sandman Geras, with the power of time (and sand) at his disposal.
There’s a whopping 11 editions in the series for a reason, and the latest looks to only give us more of that brutal gameplay players have come to love and know. Also, we’ll never get sick of hearing “Finish Him!”
Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch. April 23.