Saturday, May 30, 2009

PS3 slim version at E3?

On Spike the Pre-E3 show was teasing us with several upcoming games, never really giving us anything interesting on games we cared about. One thing people spoke about at one point is the price cut for the PS3, or basically a slimming of the PS3 to justify a price decrease. 

Where did they get the idea of a PS3 slim down? It doesn't even make sense considering the slimmed down PS2 is enough of a smaller console alternative, and I don't think alot of people want the Blu Ray player. Let's face it, the PS2 is outselling the PS3 and its probably making truckloads of profit. But to cut down the PS3 even more and make the PS2 sell less. Doubt it. 

Let's face it, I don't have a PS3. I want a PS3. I don't have the money for it right now, and their library is growing, E3 holds alot of promise for their gaming lineup. I'd like Microsoft to wow us but Sony is already wowing with it's library. Having said that, the new library of games would be enough to make people buy a PS3. So a price cut of the PS3 is unlikely, maybe Holiday 2009 but not now. 

There is alot of news circulating about this, but nothing is definite. So i'm gonna say this will likely be a rumor, and if they indeed make a slimmed PS3. I'm going on the waiting list and say goodbye to the PS2 with a move like that. 

New Youtube Channel and Series

Hey guys I got an awesome announcement to make. If you head over to Geeksquisite Channel you will find our new Youtube Channel. Here we will be putting all video related content for Geeksquisite. The first of which is the introduction of a new series. 

Geeksquisite Gaming Diary

Be sure to leave feedback thanks and enjoy.

My Gameboy/ GBC Collection

Well, since Ed posted up a list of his NES collection, I figured I'd follow that up with something somewhat similar... so, let's take a quick look at all of the games I have for my Gameboy and Gameboy Color.

1) Super Mario Land (GB) - A classic Gameboy game in it's own right, just as Super Mario Bros. was on the NES. Has a classic theme that differs from your standard Mario theme song, and isn't heard much in new Mario games. The gameplay is pretty similar to Super Mario Bros. on the NES, but the levels are all new, making this a great new experience for any Mario fan out there.

2) Kirby's Dream Land (GB) - The first Kirby game ever. It helped introduce new gameplay mechanics such as eating your enemies and spitting them back out, which was later used in Super Mario World with the re-introduction of Yoshi.

3) Tetris (GB) - Probobly the most well-known video game ever! Created by Russian designer Alexey Pajitnov, it helped make puzzle gaming popular, and defined the genre as we know it today.

4) Metroid II: The Return of Samus (GB) - This one is interesting in that it is a direct sequel to the first game on the NES. While not having the easiest controls ever, it spawned a lot of new ideas for the series that would show up more polished in Super Metroid for the SNES.

5) Qix (GB) - A lot more famous for it's arcade counterpart, Qix is a solid puzzle-action game where you try and take over a certain percentage of the screen without getting hit by the enemies. This Gameboy version is a solid port, even with the limited graphics.

6) Mortal Kombat (GB) - Once again, more famous for it's arcade counterpart. However, this version of MK is the worst ever! Of course, I don't see any way you really could port over MK to the Gameboy. I'm actually just surprised that this version exists! Also, I'm not really sure what that smegma on the cartridge is...

7) Pit Fighter (GB) - Here we have another bad port of a fighting game. Pit Fighter is a lot more popular on the Genesis, and for good reason. I think if I was forced to play this game forever, I'd rather kill myself! Fighting games just don't work on the Gameboy.

8) Toy Story (GB) - Sticking with the theme of console ports, we have another one here in the form of Toy Story. While not a horrible port, I'd still prefer to play the SNES or Genesis version of the game.

9) Snoopy's Magic Show (GB) - This one is a bit obscure, but I was pleasantly surprised with it. While it's not an amazing game by any means, it has a simple charm to it. You play as Snoopy and the game consists of you collecting all of the Woodstocks on screen, and dodging the bouncing balls. It's simple, and perfect for a handheld game, not to mention the music is infectiously cheery.

10) Alleyway (GB) - A pretty solid Super Breakout clone for the Gameboy, it provides a classic breakout experience. No power-ups, no crazy techno music. Just some simple breakout. The weird part is, at the beginning of the game, you see Mario JUMP INTO YOUR PADDLE! So... Mario is INSIDE YOUR PADDLE, there is a little Mario head next to your lives counter. So, technically, this is a MARIO GAME!!! MADNESS, isn't it?!

11) Wario Land: Super Mario Land III (GB) - Sticking with the theme of Semi-Mario games, this game is the first to introduce Wario into the big book of Mario fiction. It includes an overworld map, that looks oddly similar to the one from Super Mario World. Playing as Wario, you put on different hats to get different powers, and you try and collect as much money as you can, Wario being the greedy little guy that he is.

12) Mario Tennis (GBC) - While all of the other Mario Tennis games were simply "Tennis with Mario characters", Mario Tennis on the Gameboy Color is a completely different experience, and I personally think it's a much more enjoyable one. You play as a new recruit as a Tennis school, and you can level up your stats. The graphical style reminds me of Pokemon, and the gameplay, between the exploration parts, and the actual Tennis are both fun and satisfying. For anybody who's ever wanted to play a Tennis RPG, definitely check out Mario Tennis for the Gameboy Color.

13) The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC) - Last, but most definitely not least, we have Link's Awakening DX for the Gameboy Color. Taking everything that made the original game so great, and adding some new features, and a new dungeon, this game is a must own for anybody who has a Gameboy Color. Definitely one of my favorite Zelda games ever.

Anime Preview: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 1

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a sequel to the widely popular Fullmetal Alchemist. However, it's not a direct sequel like the movie was. Instead, it seems to be taking the original story and just offering the continuing adventures of Edward and Alphonse. I'm not yet entirely sure when this is taking place, but it seems to be in-between one of the parts they skipped over in the original series.

I watched the first episode subbed. In it, Ed and Al are sent by Mustang to fight a rouge soldier who uses water alchemy. Throughout the episode, we get re-introduced to a bunch of different characters from the original series such as Mustang, Armstrong, King Bradley, and Hughes. After watching it, the entire thing feels very much like FMA should feel. The animation is still headed by BONES, the original voice cast returns, there's still that perfect mix of comedy and action, oh... and you can't forget about the short jokes! The entire thing felt very authentic, and I recommend it to anybody who likes any sort of action comedy. Definitely a must-watch for FMA fans.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Book Review: The House of the Scorpion

Yes, book reading is a volunteer effort. Some don't want to, some do. But there are books that work on many levels to speak to the reader while pushing points across. House of the Scorpion is one of those books.

House of the Scorpion is written by Nancy Farmer, and is about a boy who is treated differently for what he is: a clone. Matteo Alacran becomes the subject for debates about clones and their equality when compared to humans. It also explores the need for immortality through unethical means and even explores elements of how the United States and Mexico have progressed in the future from a SCI-FI perspective. 

I've read this book soo much its that good. It's interesting how Farmer develops Matt's life as a child with obvious religious questions regarding a clone. Matt is religious, but we've never had the circumstance of whether a clone is welcomed in the house of god. The relationship between Matt and El' Patron, the man who he is a clone of is heartwarming in how kind he seems. And yet, El' Patron is loved out of fear by everyone around him, highlighting the idea that money drives people to swallow pride and is constantly remarked for his powerful legacy he created.

This is a book people must read, because I cannot tell you everything or else there is nothing worth learning on your own. But I highly recommend reading it, its a wonderful story. 

I give it a 4 out of 5

N+ Review on Xbox 360

A while ago Rob got me to buy N+, it was a free game online but needless to say the idea of multiplayer on N+ is about 80 percent of my motive to buy any game. I like playing with my friends plain and simple. 

Now about N+ in case you don't know the game its where you aim to reach a door or go back to your starting point after you activate a switch. Your time limit is never reset in this game so it depends on how fast you can scale the different rooms that have different archways and traps to kill you. You can jump in an anti gravity fashion when you hold the Green A button for a few seconds, yellow dots represent "gold" to increase your time limit in case you take time to reach your goal or simply want to add time. Up to four people are allowed.

The control is good, i'd imagine some will complain but when the control is designed to be sensitive to challenge you, especially since you can slide against walls and double your jump height if you build momentum. The thrill of it makes me love this game for how simple it is, and the challenges get harder. It starts slow with some gaps, then some enemies that try to kill you, bombs that try to home in on you. It's a really fun game, and it made me think whether it was worth paying for since its free online. Well they added more room designs and the multiplayer experience is enjoyable, when your friends mess up and you watch their body parts scatter and bounce as they hit bombs is more entertaining than it should be. 

This game is worth the money and worth trying, it's a game for when you don't want to really "get" into the game. It's simply a Point A to B adventure game that has that surreal feel, especially with the music that doesn't repeat too much I think. 

I give it a 3.5 out of 5

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My NES Collection

For the past week i've had an NES I bought on ebay. $46 for the system, two controllers, and ten games. Games Include:

Mario/Duck Hunt (Classic) 
Fester's Quest (Terrible)
Super Mario Brothers 3 (Classic)
Robocop (Classic to me)
Batman (Not bad)
Dr. Mario (confusing to play atm)
Wrath of the Black Manta (Haven't played yet) 
Ice Hockey (haven't played yet)
Excitebike (Better than I expected)
Operation Wolf (seems okay, not enough to make an opinion)
Double Dribble (kinda hard to understand the controls, fun so far)
Captain Skyhawk (haven't played yet)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a seperate purchase so it doesn't count here, but overall I'm happy with that I got. I already explained most of the games but I also got instruction manuals and dust covers for most of the games except for TMNT.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on NES Review

This game is a funny one to review with all the odd things I find about it, first of all take a look at the cartridge picture of my copy. Notice anything wrong with the cartridge art? um they are all Raphael because they all wear a red bandanna. Now I might not be the first one to notice this, but it's pretty funny. Talk about Stunt Doubles :P BUT WAIT, I read that before the TV series this was indeed the case that they all wore red, so apparently the game followed the original comics. Not the series that changed that to let viewers distinguish the characters. 

Another thing about this game is the back of it indicates it was made in 1985, OLD yes but yet when I see the copyright it says 1989. Could the cartridge date indicate the start of the NES library, I checked and yes alot of them say 1985 but there is no way they all came out in 1985. I know Robocop didn't. 

Now to the Gameplay, the control is okay. But when it comes to jumping sometimes it takes a few tries to jump somewhere. A lot of people have criticized the game including the Angry Video Game Nerd for the game being complicated when you have to get somewhere and the constantly respawning enemies. Well in fairness to others BOTH those issues don't seem as big to me, sure its trial and error to beat this game. But you get checkpoints in the game when all your turtles die, and respawning enemies as well as the problems with reaching areas isn't that big of a deal. If you really want it to be easier than that, then it isn't challenging which leads to it being not fun. 

Although to be critical I do think Raphael is the WORST choice of the turtles to use, you have to get really close to enemies and most of the time I got hit. He is pretty useless so I use him to defuse the bombs underwater. I think it is ridiculous that the enemies respawn when you go back to an area to get out of the level, and yet the powerup pizzas aren't there. But hey i'm willing to believe Ultra wanted to challenge gamers. The design of where you have to go as said before is kinda annoying, you can't control HOW MUCH you jump so you have to move the character at the right moment to get somewhere. Whether it be for a power up you can skip or a door you need to go through, you go into buildings and sewers but the At first you think you have to walk through the streets but really your supposed to just do it and find another sewer hole ASAP. Buildings above ground have no purpose gameplay wise, so if your health is always good, skip some of them. Some of these regular enemies become bosses where you have to beat them, that makes no sense. It's not a unique challenge and it accomplishes nothing because there are unique bosses. 

Overall this game is a classic, challenging game I am told by T.J. it might be remade although he isn't sure. I was enjoying this game more than I should have been by reviews by others, but I guess i'm just easier to please. 

I give it a 3 out of 5

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Store Trips that encompass all things Geeksquisite

Play and Trade logo, great franchise :D

So Today me and fellow blogger and podcast host T.J. went out to satisfy our incomplete collection of gaming and entertainment. It started with me selling my dreamcast collection to T.J, he liked it of course and looks forward to adding to the collection of mostly sports games in his new Dreamcast collection. 

So we first stopped at Play and Trade, a growing gaming paradise/franchise if i do say so myself. It has more engaging people running it, its not like you just buy a game and they ring it up. They ring your game up and know what your getting, know your tastes and give that look of reminiscing since they are gamers themselves. They do cater GREATLY to the classic gaming era, they have a crapload of NES, SNES, N64, Dreamcast, Genesis, PC, and other classics while carrying the new stuff. T.J. even notes they have some nice T-Shirts :). 

So what did I get there? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on NES, T.J. said they are doing a remake but it's a classic to me. So I got it and noticed something funny about it while playing it, but i'll put that in a seperate post tomorrow ;D. I also grabbed a new 360 wireless headset. My old one broke and say what you want, I think the wireless mikes have better sound quality to me for some reason. T.J. grabbed Shadow of the Colossus, classic XD. Then we went to Best Buy.

I didn't plan to buy anything, but T.J. helped me loosen up in that regard. Before I knew it he handed me the Firefly DVD Collection and Serenity the movie to that series. Collector's Edition. 
We looked at some games, some more movies. I showed more of my ignorance games and movie wise, I really have to catch up on alot of stuff. I had a rough life in my first 15 years, so I didn't have the passion for Movies and Games T.J. has. I hope to change that. I ended up returning the Firefly Collection, 40 dollars? I didn't like spending that much for it. Probably will in the future. But I bought the Serenity Collector's Edition. I actually remember Joss Whedon saying a sequel of the movie would depend on that DVD's sales rate, heres a vote to make another movie in the Brown Coat's saga. T.J. picked up Charlie Bartlett, The Right Stuff, and Chasing Amy. Wish I watched any of them, wish i wasn't so behind on everything :(

But it was fun. 

Movie Review: Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek has been a part of pop culture for over 40 years and like anything thats been around that long it needed a tune up. That's what J.J. Abrams set out to accomplish with this summers Star Trek. The cast is young and fresh, the effects are state of the art, and the heart that made Star Trek a phenomenon is kept intact. Coming out of this film I can finally call myself a Star Trek fan. From the first ten minutes until the credits rolled I was thrilled by what I was seeing. As a side note I've seen this film twice once in a normal theater and once in Imax. The sound design really comes through in Imax so I implore you to seek it out if you have a Imax theater available to you. 

It's hard to talk about the films plot without bringing up spoilers but it's safe to say the way they are able to make this film fit into the timeline is quite solid. If you were to dissect the story you would find holes in it but for the most part it's smarter then your average popcorn flick. The first half of the film is about re-establishing the crew of the Enterprise. They do a tremendous job of fitting all the pieces together in such a short amount of time without it feeling forced. They even manage to get in a bunch of quotes and references some subtle and some not. Most of the references and winks work but the best come from the more subtle ones. Like a reference to the red shirts that could easily be missed if you don't know about Star Trek (if your a fan you'll know what I'm talking about).

For the most part the entire cast puts in fabulous performances, some that arguably (don't kill me) surpass that of the original. Chris Pine doesn't do a impersonation of William Shatner which would have been hokey but instead just plays it more like a young Han solo type. Zachary Quinto is just about spot on as Spock as one could hope for. He occasionally gets a bit too emotional but again this is a young Spock who has yet to learn to control his emotions. The rest of the cast is filled out nicely by Simon Pegg who gives a great comedic performance. Karl Urban who just embodies McCoy and has a great dynamic with Kirk and Spock. If there is one disappointment in the film it comes for the main villain Nero played by Eric Bana. Honestly the role could have been played by anyone, as he adds nothing to the character. When reading up on the making of the film I learned about this whole back story about Nero and his crew, but virtually none of this is conveyed on the screen. This makes it hard to believe in the reasoning behind why Nero is set on creating Genocide throughout the galaxy.

The New Star Trek did exactly what it set out to do, reboot a tired series and make it fresh. The summer would be a much bleaker place without this film. It will be interesting to see where they go from here now that the new cast and universe has been established. 

5 out of 5

Geeksquisite Episode 29 Game Edition: When in doubt use a nail file

Episode 29 Game Edition: When in doubt use a nail file

Hey guys in case any of you are confused this is still the midnight multiplayer podcast.  The change of name is just to reflect the new website. Any podcast listed as Game edition will be the same old classic MM podcast you've always had. The new podcast that will come will be under the same feed but be titled stuff like Movie Editon, Music Edition, and others as we decide to do more shows. Feel free to only listen to the shows where the topic interest you.

In Episode 29 we discuss a bit about the games we've been playing including UFC 2009 and Velvet Assassin. Then we talk pre-e3 and all the fun that comes with it. Assassin's Creed a firey debate about Modern Warfare 2, Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2, and many more. So enjoy and leave some feed back please.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

E3 is back, what will we see?

Hey guys, thought I would just run through a few things I'm looking forward to having be announced or shown at E3 2009. It's been an interesting year in gaming since the recession hit. Developers closing shop left and right due increasing development cost and decreasing profits. Even the big companies like Electronic Arts have been laying off thousands of employees in order to keep the business going. Even with times getting as hard as they are there are still some promising titles and announcements ahead of us. So with that lets look at some of the possible announcements I'm looking forward too in no particular order.

1. God of War 3: Sony announcing a release date for God of war III within the 2009 fiscal year. Most rumors are suggesting a March 2010 release date. I also look forward to seeing a onstage demo at Sony's press conference.

2. New Zelda?: A new Wii developed Zelda could be huge. Most of the people I've been listening too seem to think we're more likely to see a Mario game but I had my fill with Galaxy and don't think we need another Mario for quite a while to be honest. There hasn't been a new Zelda game on the platform yet since Twilight Princess was a port so hearing hoping.

3. Sequels:  Modern Warfare 2, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Assassin's Creed 2, Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time, Uncharted 2, Lost Planet 2, Splinter Cell conviction, and many more. We are now 3 to 4 years into the next-gen cycle. This is historically the point where developers have learned the new tech and now know how to push it to it's limits. So here's looking at what might be some of the best games to come out this generation.

4. New IPs: Most new IPs end up forgotten but there are a few that look very promising simply cause of their pedigree. Capcom's Dark void from the makers of Crimson Skies, which looks to put it's spin on the 3rd person shooter genre. Brutal legend from the mind of Tim Schafer which looks to bring to life what it would be like to play a game inside a heavy metal album cover. It's always exciting to wait and see which IPs with find an audience and which ones will go down as failed experiments.

5. Console MMOs: For years we've been waiting for a proper console MMO. The most resent rumor that the Lord of the Rings Onine will be coming to consoles only helps to straighten the possibility. Don't forget SOE either with DC Universe which is shaping up to be a good start for Sony.

6. The Unkown: What makes E3 so exciting is that you don't always know what to expect. There is still stuff in the air like the PSP Go! which could change the way games are distributed in the future. MAG which could be revolutionary if it is able to simulate a persistent battlefield with up to 256 live players. Then there is the PSN and XBLA which have been growing exponentially with content. What will be this years Final Fantasy coming to Xbox 360 announcement? We will know in just a few days and I for one can't wait.

Wall-E Lookback Review

Yes this movie has been out for quite some time, but it seems appropriate as Pixar's Up will close the door on Wall-E and he'll become history. But Wall-E is not just another Pixar film, there is something amazing about this film that makes me watch it again and again. 

Wall-E is about this little robot, the last one of his kind cleaning up the earth..for 700 years. In that time he grows lonely and thinks outside his duty because the whole Earth has only him, letting him develop a personality to his everyday living. Upon arrival of a robot named EVE, he is entranced by her. He interacts with her, discovering that she shows him things within his own universe he never realized. EVE shows him beauty through her own skill at mastering the complexities of Wall-E's treasures and what they held that Wall-E knew nothing about. And in that, Wall-E grows to love EVE. 

This movie was perfect, i have a really hard time finding anything wrong with this movie. At that point i'm nitpicking and I find that too cynical for me to do so i'll accept this movie has no flaws. The messages about humanity aren't bashed about by the robots, its just how they see it in face value. And yet it shows we do need to care about what we as a people are doing to the Earth, we recognize beauty and need the Earth to survive. The movie shows we need to change our habits and help the earth, and we can't wait for the silver bullet. We built the robots that function better than we do in this movie. 

 The interactions with the robots were funny, interesting, and the robots were able to distinguish personalities without dialogue. WALL-E and EVE's fun they had with Wall-E's treasures are funny and revelant of our fascinations with the simplest things. Its funny because the robots attain personalities from when routine becomes on the spot improvising, the robots always seemed to do what they were programmed to do. But when Wall-E, EVE, MO and all the other robots had nothing to do revelant to their programming or hit a dead end like WALL-E in how routine it became. They went beyond the call of duty to interact and help each other, something that the humans of this film left behind for convenience. 

The film is beautiful to look at, funny, clever in portraying mannerism based personalities, and appeals to our better halves to care about these characters as we should care for each other. That is humanity, and it goes beyond humans in this movie. 

I give this a 5 out of 5

Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian Review

From when I heard about this movie I didn’t have hope for it, yes Ben Stiller is an actor I like a lot. But it took a while for the first one to grow on me, and being the sequel it USUALLY isn’t as good as the first I doubted this one would break that almost golden rule. Sadly this is true and there are definitely moments I could do without, but there are some moments I like.

First off I like Ben Stiller and when you give him room to improvise it gets fun, especially when it comes to his wit and timing. OMG the scene with Jonah Hill was funny, Jonah Hill is in the movie a lot less than he and the others involved seem to promote he is. There is a ton of characters in this film, I especially am a fan of Robin Williams as Theodore Roosevelt and there wasn’t much of him but it was fun when it happened. Abe Lincoln was funny in this too. But the biggest highlight of the movie to me is the supporting character Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart, she portrayed a very believable version of Amelia Earhart and the chemistry between her and Stiller worked okay. I was a bit dodgy with the love interest somewhat because she’s a damn figurine, probably not anatomically correct. Damn, there was a lot of special effects in this movie. The Jonas Brothers as the Cupids was also funny, and they poke fun at the love interest as well.

Having said all these good things I will say this, the idea is to at first get the museum “folks” back, but then turns into this think against Hank Azaria’s character as Ahkmenrah’s brother Kah Mun Rah for most of the movie. Why is this a problem? BECAUSE I HATED HANK AZARIA’S PERFORMANCE! Look I love his work on the Simpsons but I don’t know if he was trying to replicate his brother’s accent or purposefully being homophobic in his mannerisms. Whatever it is he was annoying, and his villain cronies like Al Capone, Napoleon etc. didn’t impress me in the least. BOOORING it was to watch them, however there was this one scene where these straggler villains were rejected, that made me laugh for a second but god what an otherwise lame villain lineup. I also have to say while some CGI was good; others seemed to be there just to show off. The Octopus was unnecessary, but the cupids were funny as hell. The balloon animals were unnecessary…geez why bother separating good from bad? There was too much special effects, we’re in a recession and you’re firing 80,000 dollar fireworks every ten minute in this movie.

Overall I will have to watch this movie like I do every other movie several more times when it’s on TV constantly and I’m bored. But I’m sure I’ll stand firm that this sequel failed to be as good as the first one. This movie is forgettable sadly, and it’s mostly because of Hank Azaria’s performance and the fireworks display of special effects.

Overall I give this 2 out of 5

Movie Review: Wolverine

Oh my, where to start? I won't complain about how much the film deviates from the source material. It's a movie and in adapting such material to the big screen somethings need to change. Lucky for me, even without this I still have a countless array of problems with Wolverine. Lets start with the fact that all of a sudden Wolverine has become a neutered house pet. The scenes in which Wolverine is trying to lead a normal life seem the most believable while the ones where he's trying to be animalistic end up feeling the most put on. Hugh Jackman gets by simply by being Hugh Jackman, charisma and all but fails at portraying the character that made him famous. 

When your main character fails to inspire the only hope left is that the supporting cast is interesting enough to hold the film together.  Sadly in the case of Wolverine this is mostly a disappointment. Most of the roles end up being glorified cameos with no one to really care about. Ryan Reynolds who plays Wade Wilson/Deadpool in the film gets a few good lines in towards the front of the film but then vanishes until the films climax. If there is one redeeming thing about Wolverine it is the performance by Liev Schreiber of Victor Creed. He plays the character with all the strength and confidence that sabretooth should have. Liev is believably intimidating in a way that Hugh only wishes he could be.  

Alright enough with the performances this is a summer blockbuster so lets get to the effects shall we. I love myself some good action but it has to be well executed. The film just wreaks of being rushed with some scenes looking right out cartoonish. In particular a scene where Wolverine is checking out his brand spanking new adamantium claws. The scene is meant to be about Logan discovering himself almost like a teenage boy. At least thats that I think was going on but honestly all I could look at was these ridiculous metal claws that took me straight out of the film. 

The problem with the action sequences in this film is that there is no point to them. Wolverine is virtually indestructible and the movie makes sure to repeat this over and over. The antagonist of the film Colonel Stryker even states this and yet they keep throwing more firepower in Logan's direction. We then learn that there is a certain way in which to defeat wolverine. Now here's a thought, how about you use that weapon first instead of sending countless soldiers and mutants to die and causing millions of dollars in damages? 

Overall Wolverine was quite a sad start to the summer movie season. The characters are bland and even a stand out performance by Liev Schreiber isn't enough to keep this film from sinking. Lackluster effects and pointless set pieces just eat away at what once was a thriving franchise. There has already been a sequel announced and a Deadpool spin-off, I hope they can turn the franchise around because I don't think I'll be in line if they continue in this direction.

2 out of 5

Monday, May 25, 2009

Movie Review: Waltz with Bashir

It's been years since i've actually enjoyed sitting through a modern war film and yet "Waltz with Bashir" managed to finally breakthrough to me. Most of which has to do with the film being animated. By being animated I believe it helped to give me a shield from the war. I was able to see the images without being totally thrown of by the reality of them. Keeping everything just a bit surreal made the film watchable and I was able to fully pay attention to the story because of it and wasn't distracted by the imagery. There was some great from the early dreams of the main proganist of him and his fellow warmen rose out of the water naked and innocent seeing the flares lighting up the night sky. 

The journey of the protaganist as he tries to regain his memory of what happened during the war and what role he played in it kept me going. From interview to interview we got just a little bit more of the puzzle and all of them with such different backgrounds. Some critism I have is that I found myself more interested in how these characters were doing post war rather then just talking about how things used to be. They delve into how everyone in the present is doing but only briefly and I think the film could have benefited more by seeing a bit more of how their lives are now. 

The only real major complaint I have is with the ending, It felt forceful, heavy handed, and completely unneseccary. I throughoughly enjoyed the film because of it's animation style helping me to get past what I've found so distasteful in other war movies and going to live action to show real massacre footage seemed redundant. I understood the tragedy that had occured and didn't need to see footage of little girls buried in rubble to understand it. It makes me feel as if the filmmakers didn't have enough belief that the animation was impactful enough, which just makes me feel the filmmaker wasn't unsure if animation was the best way to get the message he wanted across.

4 out of 5

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Last Airbender Trailer

Dev Patel is Zuko

Avatar: The Last Airbender was arguably the best Nickelodeon series they have made in quite a long time since the Golden Age when they were called Nicktoons. It started funny, got serious, and ended epicly. I rewatch episodes more than i drink water, haha. 

So with the announcement of a movie, a 4 part series if it stays popular I was of course interested. Then I found that M. Night Shamalayan was attached to write and direct the series of films. That got me a little nervous with his less than stellar record for like the last three movies he made, but he's basing it off a set storyline by the creators. And he did watch the series according to interviews. 

So I recently found out that a teaser trailer for this movie will be shown before Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Excellent! more bang for my buck :D. But jeez, a trailer for a movie not being released till July 2nd 2010. Kinda early and cruel if you ask me. 

Now to be fair this upcoming movie is not all positive, fans have criticized the use of all white actors for the cast. Thats a whole other subject but needless to say this movie is important, important enough that I write about a teaser trailer in front of Transformers 2. 

Why? Well first of all. 
1. Since I love this series and used to love M. Night Shamalayan, im hoping for good things since he has watched the show himself and I'm seeing this movie unless real trailers says otherwise. So its a chance for him to redeem himself to me and likely to others.
 2. The Trailer will give us an insight to the movie's mood, martial art kung fu action, mythology and having to save the world even though your a care free misfit...sounds familiar. Oh Crap, Dragonball:Evolution. Well its not Twentieth Century Fox produced so it stands a better chance being under...Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount. Ummm...The only one of theirs I happened to like was Charlotte's Web and i'm in the minority of that opinion. So that's another concern. 
3. If the movie doesn't do well why make four movies?

So anyway, if you liked Avatar. Go see Transformers, which i'm sure you already are, and check out the teaser.