Friday, February 29, 2008

Rating!

Check it out. Over there on the right. A rating from blogged.com. Not too shabby. You should go over there and shamelessly plug my site. Or not.

Chromehounds (2006) - Initial thoughts.

I am only a couple of hours into Chromehounds and already I am hooked. It wasn't really all that great until I linked up four assault machine guns to fire at once. In the immortal words of Clarence Boddicker, "GUNS! GUNS! GUNS!". Then I started really tinkering with constructing - with what limited resources I have - a mech or 'Hound as they are known in this game(sidenote: If you're not familiar with the term mech then just think about big fucking robots with big fucking guns).

I really dig this game and look forward to seriously putting some time into it. Basically the whole premise is "Blah, blah, blah, war. Blah, blah, blah, mercenaries. Join a squad, train, get better gear, blast the living hell out of other squads. Attempt to win war. It's the customization and squad combat on Live that I'm looking forward to. I just have to keep building my funds and supplies so my 'Hound is the equivalent of a soapbox racer at the Indy 500.

If I can get a screen capture I'll put it on here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rise (2007) dir. Sebastian Gutierrez

Rise lasted about a week in the theater and it's easy to see why. Vampire movies are a tough sell that seem to come into their own when they are available to watch at home. I don't know why and that may be a whacko guess but it seems true. The general public just doesn't really seem to care or it might be that most vampire movies are pretty bad.

Rise isn't bad. It's not great but it's not bad and the amount of nudity and blood definitely improved it. At one point I joked that the movie should've been called "Lucy Liu doesn't wear a shirt". One of the high points of the movie is Cameron Richardson in lingerie. Seriously.

The acting isn't bad at all. Some of the best scenes are between Michael Chikilis and Lucy Liu. The score is fairly forgetable. Amanda noticed that the sound editing was off or needed to be dialed back - footsteps sounded absurdly loud.

Amanda enjoyed this movie a lot more than I did but then again she's a vampire movie fan.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, assorted news & notes.

Hope you folks had a good weekend. We laid low and since chores were done last weekend there wasn't anything pressing that needed doing. I jumped back into Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and polished off the main story line of Shivering Isles and the Knights of the Nine quest. I still have a pretty ridiculous amount of gameplay left in it if I really wanted to get my money's worth but really - do I really care that much about closing all sixty Oblivion Gates? What sucks is I'd like to create a new character but I don't want to have to go through all the work - to the tune of 230+ hours of gaming.

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Picked up Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the DS Lite - basically a point & click puzzle game. I really enjoy it but occasionally the puzzles make me feel like this Penny Arcade comic. I really do enjoy the puzzles. They range from "move the matchstick..." to optical illusions to word problems to "How the fuck was I supposed to know that !?!". I kind of like the fact that it's as challenging as it is but there's often a straight forward solution if you don't get frazzled. The game also has a really unique look to it - almost as if it were in Triplets of Belville-verse. I can only play the game for brief periods of time before getting frustrated because I am lunkhead who can't remember the Pythagorean Theorem.

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I have been hankering for a mech game but as far as I can tell there are only two for the 360: Chromehounds & Armored Core 4 - neither of which really sound all that awesome. Chromehounds does sound better - it focuses on online mech squad play. I often wonder why there's such a serious lack in the mech department. Who wouldn't want to play a game with giant robots bashing the shit out of things?
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That's it in a nutshell. Started taking medication so we'll see how that works out. Hope all of you are well and have a good week.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Netflix & XBOX Live or how I pooped on myself even more.

So there was an article on MSNBC about a possible merger between Netflix & XBOX Live. I'm a big fan of being able to download movies from XBOX Live so expanding the collection available would be pretty darn neat. While I do miss special features more often than not the special features are worthless anyway - unless it Guillermo Del Toro. I hope this comes to pass.

Movie Review Query Engine or how I just pooped on myself.

I was looking for reviews of Death Wish and came across the Movie Review Query Engine. As some of you may know I love reading reviews - good and bad. It's pretty cool to be able to check out reviews from all types of sources not just the few on metacritic.com

The Brave One (2007) Dir. Neil Jordan

It's very difficult not to make comparisons between The Brave One (2007) and Taxi Driver (1976) or Death Wish (1974). The Brave One plays like a combination of the two but can't really make the movie gel. There are other vengeance movies but these three in particular use New York City not only as a location but as a character. Unlike the NYC of thirty years ago today's NYC is a "Disneyland, safe for tourists and out-of-towners" and "the safest big city in the world." The Brave One chips at this new and shiny veneer but never really gets past it.

The basic premise of The Brave One is pretty simple. Jodie Foster plays Erica Bain, a public radio talk show host who wanders the city recording ambient sound and saying public radio stuff about the changing city, etc, etc. If you listen to NPR you'll know what I mean. Her fiance is the Indian guy from Lost - Naveen Andrews. I was worried there would be some sort racial hate crime factor but there wasn't. I was also glad to see that Jodie Foster wasn't a lesbian - that would have been too heavy handed and would have turned the movie into a preachier IFC movie. One night Erica and her fiance take their dog for a walk in Central Park. A gang of hoodlums take the dog, beat the fiance to death, and put Jodie Foster in a coma. It's actually a jarringly violent scene - as it should be - but it's also given a eerily realistic quality by the fact that one of the assailants is digitally recording it. I don't know why that aspect made me uneasy - possibly because sick fuckers actually do this and rewatch it for fun. Bain ends up in a coma for weeks, wakes up, and is a total mental trainwreck who can't leave her apartment. Then one day she buys a pistol and we all know what happens after that.

Foster is pretty good in The Brave One and Terence Howard is hands down one of my current favorite actors. The cinematography is solid and Neil Jordan is still a pretty sharp director. Unfortunately the script and story are pretty weak with and ending that pretty much flushes any message or credibility the movie could have had. I was actually looking forward to a film about the effects of intense violence on a person - mentally, spiritually, ethically, and morally (what I was hoping to get from A History of Violence)- and the effects of her vigilante rampage would have on the general public. These were all touched upon in the movie but only in passing, Bernie Goetz is mentioned even. I guess I was also expecting a "bad old New York" feel - a.k.a. beneath all the lights and sparkle there's a festering sewer of humanity. The first half of the movie is actually pretty good now that I think about it but the second half is a complete and total cop-out. The ending seems like it was tacked on because test audiences didn't like the real ending.

In the end The Brave One falls pretty flat and doesn't put any real focus on any of the issues that could have been addressed. Disappointing at best.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Long Kinda Sorta Maybe Good Friday.

Kind of a quick rundown today - nothing major that I know of:

  • Was sent an email by Mike this morning directing me to a link on Ain't it Cool about the digital editing of the US trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. At first I was pretty annoyed but the annoyance has shifted over to, "Well that's fucking typical." Apparently MP40s (German submachine guns) are not supposed to be pointed at our heroes. I rewatched the trailer with a more critical eye and realize that the CGI doesn't really look all that good. I'm a little disappointed but remember that the Indy series has some terrible FX. I guess I'll just have to get over it.
  • One of my favorite webcomics Questionable Content has taken a sort of surprising direction. Not to say that I didn't see it coming I just didn't think that it would actually happen. Hey, some people watch WB shows. I read webcomics.
  • I'm working on adding/tweaking/fiddling the links at the bottom of the page as well as some of the feeds and good stuff like that. Trying to make it a little more one stop shopping.
  • BCIII has been adding more trailers and good stuff over at http://pihytrailers.blogspot.com/.
  • If any of you have a copy of James Horner's score for Krull please let me know. Don't mock just because it's Krull - it's a really good score.
  • The GTAIV site is live. I am torn between devouring all the info I can and just avoiding any and all news about it.

That's all for now folks. Hope you guys have a good weekend. I'm gonna be on lockdown because the house is a shambles and I'm wearing my emergency clean clothes.




Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday: Weekend recap, assorted news, updates, and goodness.


I had to start today's post with that. Thanks to Mark for sharing Rap Lyric Charts & Graphs.
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Roy Scheider died. He is no longer picking his toes in Poughkeepsie. I always did like him.
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You might have seen the TV Spot for Lost Odyssey with White Rabbit playing in the background. Here's the extended TV spot.

It could be a good game but then again it could be a Final Fantasy knock-off with all the JRPG themes and look and Nobuo Uematsu scoring. Release date is tomorrow and I'll just have to see what the reviews say before I pick it up.
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I will reveal the new Super Secret Recipe over on Hooligan Youth Reviews Food either today or tomorrow.
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Bart's been putting more trailers up on Hooligan Youth & Peevish Insomniac Present: Movie trailers. Jeebus, we've got a site for evrything these days.
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Hope everyone is well and haven't been attacked by Brain Wasps.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Look what we have to work with.


These are some of my coworkers during the busy times: Flour Tortilla Jeremy and Baby Joey. Brings a tear to my eye - this blog's for you guys.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty demo, Burnout Paradise online fun, and something else...

I' ve been pretty geared up for Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (02/26). Personally I am a huge sucker for speculative fiction based on the USA getting invaded - i.e. Red Dawn, Freedom Fighters, The Man in the High Castle. This isn't because I am not a patriot it's because I think Americans would kick the Hell out of an invading force. Could you imagine the Red Army trying to take down Chicago? The demo is available for download and it's impressive as all get out. I worry that it won't be able to go the distance - FPS tend to fall apart at the end. That doesn't mean I won't play the shit out it though.





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Burnout Paradise is a frickin' blast online. It's because it's so easy to get online - if you have an account that is - just tap right on the D-pad and select what you want. Sometimes the servers get bogged down but more often than not there's no delay in game play - no pain in the ass menus or waiting period. I'm a big fan of ghosting people who are crashing and smashing - if someone is just running time laps or jumps or basically not bothering anyone I leave them alone. I do love smashing the living shit out of opponents though and playing high speed chase. I was joking with Amanda that Burnout Paradise is nothing but big kids playing Hot Wheels.


I forgot what the something else was...oh yeah!

For those of you still playing Mass Effect - there will be downloadable content March 10th. It will introduce a new race and new planet and will called Bring Down the Sky and will be available for 400 points. I think that's pretty cool. I already sold my copy so if someone downloads this let me know how it is.

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