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    The ‘Matrix’ Returning With Keanu Reeves & Carrie-Anne Moss

    By Koby,

    A new Matrix movie is happening at Warner Bros. with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity and Lana Wachowski set to write and direct an all-new film set in the genre-defining world.




    Warner Bros. will co-produce with the franchise’s original co-producer Village Roadshow.


    Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich made the announcement today. Lana Wachowski is producing with Grant Hill. Wachowski is co-writing with Aleksander Hemon and David Mitchell.


    “We could not be more excited to be re-entering The Matrix with Lana,” said Emmerich.  “Lana is a true visionary—a singular and original creative filmmaker—and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in The Matrix universe.”


    The three previous films, created with Lilly Wachowski writing and directing—The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003)—have earned more than $1.6 billion at the global box office and were all Top 10 domestic hits in their year of release.  The Matrix Revolutions was also the first film ever to release simultaneously in every major country at the same hour around the world. The Matrix also spawned a successful video game in 2003 timed to Matrix Reloaded, Atari’s Enter the Matrix which sold over 5M copies worldwide, with close to $60M in the U.S. 


    Special 20th Anniversary screenings of “The Matrix” are being held at select AMC Theatres locations across the U.S. starting Aug. 30.


    Earlier this summer, Reeves took Lionsgate’s John Wick franchise to a new height at the B.O. with John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum earning $321.3M worldwide, $170.7M domestic.

    Epic Games Launcher appears to scan your computer and collect your data

    By Koby,

    Epic Games has responded to multiple accusations saying that their Epic Games Launcher is scanning for and collecting users' Steam information without first requesting permission.


    As detailed by Daniel Vogel, VP of Engineering at Epic Games, in the Reddit thread where the gamers' concerns were first expressed, the Epic Games Store client "makes an encrypted local copy of your localconfig.vdf Steam file."


    Upon startup the Epic Games Launcher clearly searches for a Steam install and proceeds to get list of files in your Steam Cloud, including your friends list, a list of your game saves, last play time, and copies your localconfig.vdf Steam file which contains all sorts of information up to and including login tokens (akin to information stored in your browsers cookies) which is strictly private data Steam goes on record saying shouldn't be access by 3rd parties period. This behavior is what you'd expect of spyware.


    Vogel also stated that the Epic Games Launcher is also designed to track user behavior, as well as to send information to the company's servers.


    We use a tracking pixel (tracking.js) for our Support-A-Creator program so we can pay creators. We also track page statistics.


    The launcher sends a hardware survey (CPU, GPU, and the like) at a regular interval as outlined in our privacy policy (see the “Information We Collect or Receive” section).


    The UDP traffic highlighted in this post is a launcher feature for communication with the Unreal Editor.


    Additionally, in response to user concerns that the company's launcher also gathers info on "how long someone played a steam game and last time played along with Steam friends IDs."



    Epic Games Launcher reading the localconfig.vdf Steam file


    Epic Games CEO and Founder Tim Sweeney also chimed in to answer some of the gamers' questions on Reddit, stating that "Since this issue came to the forefront we're going to fix it.", which only seems to make matters worse to be honest as it points out he knew exactly what was happening and why and thought it was a good idea and now is only fixing it because it became public knowledge that their client was behaving essentially as spyware.


    Sweeney said that the current way of collecting client Steam info from users' computers is actually his fault:


    You guys are right that we ought to only access the localconfig.vdf file after the user chooses to import Steam friends. It's actually my fault for pushing the launcher team to support it super quickly and then identifying that we had to change it. Since this issue came to the forefront we're going to fix it.



    EpicGames Launcher enumerating running processes


    "We're working to update the implementation so that the Epic Games launcher only touches the Steam file at all if you choose to import friends" stated Sweeney in reply to concerns that the program is tracking Steam play time for various games.


    A Valve spokesperson responded stating that the information stored within the localconfig.vdf Steam file is not intended to be used by other software:


    We are looking into what information the Epic launcher collects from Steam.  The Steam Client locally saves data such as the list of games you own, your friends list and saved login tokens (similar to information stored in web browser cookies). This is private user data, stored on the user's home machine and is not intended to be used by other programs or uploaded to any 3rd party service.  Interested users can find localconfig.vdf and other Steam configuration files in their Steam Client’s installation directory and open them in a text editor to see what data is contained in these files. They can also view all data related to their Steam account at: https://help.steampowered.com/en/accountdata.


    All in all, it's a pretty bad ordeal that Epic's Client was "secretly" making a copy of a file that contains numerous Steam related things, including your saved login tokens.

    Amazon’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Show to Have 20 Episodes in Its First Season

    By Koby,

    Major primetime television shows used to feature 22-24 episodes in a season, but in the era of Peak TV, smaller episode counts have become the new normal for prestige shows. But Amazon’s upcoming The Lord of the Rings TV series may be looking to change that. According to Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey, who’s on the payroll for the new series, The Lord of the Rings season 1 will be comprised of 20 episodes.




    Read his comments below, including a fascinating breakdown of which parts of Tolkien’s stories are “off limits” in the series.

    Lord of the Rings Season 1 to Have 20 Episodes

    A Fandom tweet pointed me to a German website which conducted an interview with Tom Shippey, one of the people mentioned in Amazon’s recent video showcasing the behind-the-scenes talent working on the highly-anticipated Lord of the Rings show. When asked about recent unconfirmed rumors that the series may film in places like Scotland or New Zealand, Shippey couldn’t confirm where it would be shot, but he did reveal how many episodes are intended to be in the first season:

    Logically, you try to bundle all the scenes that take place in one location and film them so that you have it done and don’t have to return to that place several times. But this also implies that everything has to be clear at the start of filming, you have to know the end. There’s supposed to be 20 episodes for the first season. So until they’ve decided what the end is going to be, they can’t start filming.

    If that holds true, it would be a big break from the recent trend toward smaller episode counts on major TV shows. Game of Thrones, the most obvious comparison point to this Lord of the Rings show, featured ten episode seasons for most of its run, but even dropped to seven in its seventh season and six in its final stretch. (As for the location itself, Amazon knows where it’s going to film the show, but it has not made that information public yet.)

    Which Parts of Tolkien’s Histories Can the Amazon Series Use?

    We’ve known for a while that the Amazon show would be set during Tolkien’s Second Age, and Shippey commented briefly on that:

    The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, and returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same. But you can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it. But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created, it is necessary to remain “tolkienian.”

    But he also revealed something in this interview I hadn’t heard before: apparently Amazon only has the rights to the Second Age.

    “The First and Third Ages are ‘off-limits’, you can’t have the First Age. Events could be mentioned at the most if they explain the events of the Second Age. But if it is not described or mentioned in the Lord of the Rings or in the appendices, they probably cannot use it. So the question is to what extent they may hint at events that took place, for example, in the First Age, but still continue to affect the Second Age. There are several maps authorized by Tolkien, not just the ones we are familiar with, and some of those maps have places on them which are not in the other maps. But if Tolkien authorized them then that’s okay. So it’s a bit of a minefield. You have to tread very carefully but at the same time there is quite a lot of scope for interpretation and free invention.”

    The site says that the Tolkien Estate retains the rights to everything in the First Age, and a company called Middle-earth Enterprises owns the rights to the events depicted in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which take place in the Third Age, and it’s unclear if Amazon has attempted to bargain with Middle-earth Enterprises to be able to reference any of those events in its upcoming show. We’ve never heard of specific ages of a fictional world being split up and sold off to different licensees, but Tolkien’s world is more expansive than most.


    It was previously assumed that Amazon was drawing from The Silmarillion, Tolkien’s massive history of Middle-earth published after his death, as it looked for stories to tell in this new show. But Shippey’s comments indicate that Amazon can only use the section of that book which covers the Second Age, and that’s only touched on in one of five divided sections of that sprawling book.


    The Lord of the Rings does not have a premiere date yet, but we’ll keep you posted when we learn more about it.

    Grandia HD Collection launches August 16

    By Koby,

    Grandia HD Collection will launch for Switch via the Nintendo eShop on August 16, publisher GungHo Online Entertainment America announced. Grandia HD Remaster for PC will follow at a later date, while the already available Grandia II Anniversary Edition will be renamed to Grandia II HD Remaster.




    Here is an overview of Grandia HD Collection, via GungHo Online Entertainment America:



    The classic RPGs have been updated to bring enhanced visuals, handheld support on Nintendo Switch, and gamepad and keyboard support on Steam. Players will be getting their hands on two games that changed the landscape of RPGs forever, for the first time in beautiful HD graphics.


    Key Features

    • Real-time, turn-based action – Experience and employ a unique action bar system for real-time fighting with distinct characters.
    • Magic-based combat – Gather Mana Eggs to learn and use magic-based skills, ranging from elemental attacks to character-enhancing magic for defense and offense statistical boosts.
    • Illustrious worlds to explore – The vibrant worlds in Grandia HD Collection include nostalgic starter cities such as Parm (Grandia) and Carbo Village (Grandia II) to iconic fields and areas such as The End of the World (Grandia) and Valmar’s Moon (Grandia II).
    • Gather Skill Points and ATTACK! – Skill Points or Skill Coins can be used to earn incredibly intense moves that make for an extraordinary fighting experience.
    • Eclectic Enemy Encounters – The worlds of Grandia and Grandia II bring forth a plethora of challenging and epic enemies in the wild, as well as main storyline bosses.
    • Ear-Indulging, Melodious Compositions – Experience world exploration, momentous battles, and legendary in-game experiences in beautiful harmony with musical compositions from acclaimed Japanese composer Noriyuki Iwadare.


    Grandia HD Collection, Grandia HD Remaster (PC), and Grandia II HD Remaster (PC) will feature a variety of new and improved features such as:


    Grandia Features

    • Enhanced details to UI, sprites, and texture art.
    • Original cinematic videos receiving visual enhancements.
    • Widescreen support and customizable resolutions (only for PC).
    • Steam cards and Achievements (only for PC).
    • Audio: Japanese and English.
    • Language Support: Original English and Japanese plus French and German translation.
    • Gamepad and keyboard support with remappable controls (only for PC).


    Grandia II Features

    • Enhanced details to UI, sprites, and texture art.
    • Original cinematic videos receiving visual enhancements.
    • Widescreen support and customizable resolutions (only for PC).
    • Audio: Japanese and English.
    • Language Support: Original English and Japanese plus New French and German translation.

    'Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna' Announces More Cast

    By Koby,

    The official website for Toei Animation's Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna announced more cast members on Sunday. The character designs are grown-up versions of the character designs used in Digimon Adventure 02. The film will open in Japan on February 21, 2020.



    Iori Hida: Yoshitaka Yamaya (Isshuukan Friends.)
    Daisuke Motomiya: Fukujuurou Katayama (Ping Pong the Animation)
    Ken Ichijouji: Arthur Lounsbery (Starmyu)
    Miyako Inoue: Ayaka Asai (Hibike! Euphonium)

    In addition, Megumi Urawa, Junko Noda, Naozumi Takahashi, Kouichi Toochika, will each reprise their roles as Armadimon, V-Mon, Wormmon, and Hawkmon, respectively.

    Tomohisa Taguchi (Persona 3 the Movie 4: Winter of Rebirth) is directing the anime at Yumeta Company. Seiji Tachikawa (Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World - The Animated Series) is chief animation director and Akatsuki Yamatoya (Gintama Movie 2: Kanketsu-hen - Yorozuya yo Eien Nare) is handling the screenplay.

    Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna commemorates the 20th anniversary of Toei Animation's Digimon franchise. The company teases that this film is "the last" of Taichi and Agumon's story.