Saturday, December 29, 2007
Finally, the weapons of mass destruction that President George W. Bush had been looking for have been found, but on an alien spaceship! Oops, too late. The aliens have destroyed the White House, but to their disappointment, Bush was out on vacation. An alien commander was heard saying: “I’ll get you next time, Bush, next time…”
Friday, December 28, 2007
Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, Bruce Campbell
Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Darkman)
PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence.
While Spider-Man’s superpowers are altered by an alien organism, his alter ego, Peter Parker, deals with new villains Sandman, New Goblin and Venom, while also getting caught up in a love triangle.
My Two Cents:
Not every franchise that makes its way to theaters gets more than two movies, and even if they do they’re not always good. Spider-Man is considered by many to be the best comic book superhero series of films ever, topping Batman, Superman and the X-Men, but even though Spider-Man 3 was directed by the same director as the first two, this one is definitely the weakest of the trilogy.
The first two films were so good my expectations for the third were probably too high, but this was not why it’s the weakest. Along the way we’ve been introduced to Peter Parker, Mary Jane, Aunt May, Harry Osborn, Norman Osborn and Otto Octavius. For an action movie there has been plenty of character development, making you actually care about these people and their relationships with one another. So the problem with part 3 is that they keep trying to develop all those characters while adding new ones like Flint Marko, Gwen Stacy, and Eddie Brock, all who deserve equal screen time. In Spider-Man there was only one villain, the Green Goblin, and in Spider-Man 2 there was also one villain, Doctor Octopus. The whole movies were devoted to them, giving the writers plenty of time to tell a detailed back story and the purpose each villain had for turning bad. In Spider-Man 3 you have three new villains, count them, three! So in two hours you have to share time for, hold on tight… Peter Parker, Spider-Man, Mary Jane, Harry Osborn, New Goblin, Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, Flint Marko, Sandman, Eddie Brock, and Venom. That’s over 10 characters, not to mention supporting characters like J.J. Jameson, Uncle Ben, Dr. Connors, Captain Stacy, Bruce Campbell and a few others. Too many fucking people.
The new villains are awesome. Sandman’s effects are insane, and his story is the most touching. He’s not out to kill the citizens of New York for pleasure, he only wants to save his daughter and must steal to pay for her operation. New Goblin may not be a true super villain since he seems only interested in killing Spider-Man instead of taking over the world, but he’s a villain nonetheless. The alien symbiote is the biggest threat, adhering to Peter Parker and slowly eating away his mind and then fusing with Eddie Brock to form the entity known as Venom. I don’t have anything bad to say about the villains, but I wish they had saved Venom for a fourth movie or perhaps exclude Sandman from the third, as Venom is more interesting.
M.J. and Peter’s romance has been hitting some bumps and things get extra shitty when Peter dons the black-suit. His personality changes from a nerd to an angry emo. Remember when Peter loses his abilities in Spider-Man 2 and decides to be Spider-Man no more? That “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” bit seems like an Oscar-worthy scene from The Godfather compared to Spider-Man 3’s disturbing emo jazz dance scene. I fucking hate jazz! It’s painful to watch, but at least it gives Peter a different look and feel from his regular nerdy self.
The action scenes are on par with what we’ve seen in previous films. Sandman is involved in three major battles, but sadly Venom is only in one. If you count black-suit Spider-Man as Venom then he’s in two fights, but that would be cheating yourself. This is why Venom needed a movie for himself. But anyway, the action is fun, and the special effects are really good. The sound and music is also fantastic, even if Danny Elfman didn’t score it. Christopher Young (Hellraiser, The Grudge) used the original Elfman Spider-Man theme and added new themes for Sandman and Venom, both which are pretty sweet. However, there was a great fight scene between emo Parker and Harry that had fucking jazz playing in the background. Did I mention I hate jazz?
Spider-Man 3 was the highest grossing film of 2007, beating other high-profile sequels like Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Shrek the Third, as well as Transformers. There’s no doubt Sam Raimi cares a whole lot about the characters and story and tried his best not to disappoint the hardcore fans and also entertain casual fans. It’s action-packed, funny and still charming after all these years. Too many characters messed things up a bit and almost left Venom out in the cold, but what’s here is enough to entertain and excite. If you’ve watched and enjoyed the first two films there’s no reason not to pick this one up.
Ray Park, as Lord Raiden, beats the shit out of some Reptiles in the god-awful Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
He is one of the biggest bosses in the game and is literally an angry talking piece of shit. He has digested corn for teeth and two little arms which he uses to fling poo at you. Before the battle begins he clears his throat and sings a song to Conker, hands down the greatest song I’ve ever heard in a video game. They don’t call him Sloprano for nothing. The Great Mighty Poo’s only weakness seems to be toilet paper. Between the song’s verses he opens his mouth and that’s when you can throw giant rolls of TP in his mouth. After three hits he starts to flush in a scene reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the West’s death from The Wizard of Oz.
It’s hard to believe there are not that many poo monsters in video games, but this is probably what makes the Great Mighty Poo stand out even more. Every first-person shooter has exploding barrels, but how many games with shit characters can you name? What a world, what a world.
I’ve included the lyrics to the Great Mighty Poo’s song. Enjoy!
A huge supply of tish comes from my chocolate starfish.
How about some scat, you little twat?
Do you really think you’ll survive in here?
You don’t seem to know which creek you’re in.
Sweet corn is the only thing that makes him through my rear.
How do you think I keep this lovely grin?
Have some more caviar.
Now I’m really getting rather mad.
You’re like a niggly, tickly, shitty little tag nut.
When I’ve knocked you out with all my bab
I’m going to take your head and ram it up my butt.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann, José Zúñiga, Tory Kittles, Peter Falk
Lee Tamahori (Die Another Day)
PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action, and some language.
Las Vegas magician Cris Johnson can see a few minutes into the future, an ability he uses to enhance his shows, and to win at blackjack. But when an FBI counterterror agent wants his help in thwarting a nuclear attack on Los Angeles, Cris finds his psychic skills put to the ultimate test. Based on Philip K. Dick's short story "The Golden Man".
My Two Cents:
Many of Philip K. Dick’s short stories have been successfully adapted to the big screen, and these include Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly. When I heard Next was going to be based on Dick’s “The Golden Man” I was expecting another mind-bending thriller, but the only thing that bended was the money I spent renting this garbage.
The ability to look into the future could be scary, but it could also save your life if you knew the plane you were getting on will crash, or that your favorite bank was getting robbed with you in it. This is the “gift” Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) has, but it’s not as cool as it sounds. He can only see two minutes into the future, and can only see into his own future. So if Mt. Etna’s volcano erupts in Italy and kills thousands of people he won’t be able to see it unless he was there and was in danger.
Since he can’t be a superhero or have his own phone psychic network, he turns to Las Vegas where he becomes a magician. He uses his gift as part of his act. Apparently he doesn’t get paid much as a magician because he often hits the casino and cheats at poker, winning enough money to live and not raise suspicion. After a while the casino security does find him suspicious and targets him. When a guy intends to rob the casino and kill two people, Cris prevents him from doing it and then flees when security tries to catch him. Meanwhile, the Russians are threatening to put a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) somehow knows about Cris’ ability to see the future and wants him to tell her where the bomb will blow up. Cris has been harassed by scientists since he was 3 years old and refuses to cooperate.
Cris had a vision of him meeting a beautiful woman (Jessical Biel) at a diner, and he needs to meet her because this is the first time he has been able to see past two minutes. He goes to the diner every day, waiting for her, until she finally appears. He manages to make her take him with her out of Las Vegas, and during the trip he charms her and makes her fall in love with him. So what if Cage is 18 years older than Biel? Bastard…
Eventually the FBI finds them and try to force Cris to go with them to L.A. This is where the movie falls apart. You don’t really care about the bomb and are more interested in Cris and Liz’s romance, but after the FBI take Cris the movie turns into a crappy Die Hard wannabe with car chases, helicopters, countless armed men running around, snipers, explosions, and shit. It all feels disconnected. The Russians are only there as a stereotypical enemy. You don’t need clairvoyant powers to know Liz is going to be taken hostage, forcing Cris to cooperate and be able to use his powers to save the world. He is put in charge of Callie’s FBI team, telling them where snipers are, where bombs are hidden, and where the fuck to go inside a huge tanker.
The overall effects are very cheesy, and look even worse on HD DVD. The dialog is lame and so is Julianne Moore. I really like her, but she sucks so bad in this movie. Peter Falk’s cameo was sad and pointless, Nicolas Cage’s wig was laughable, Jessica Biel didn’t add anything to the movie, and worst of all the ending is a slap in the face.
It has some mildly entertaining moments here and there, probably because Nicolas Cage is likeable and Jessica Biel is hot, but it’s still not worth watching. Chances are high that the next movie you watch will be better than Next.
Monday, December 24, 2007
This week: $45,500,000
2. I Am Legend
This week: $34,225,000
3. Alvin and the Chipmunks
This week: $29,000,000
4. Charlie Wilson’s War
This week: $9,618,000 - Total: $9,618,000
5. Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
This week: $9,350,000 - Total: $9,350,000
6. P.S. I Love You
This week: $6,505,000 - Total: $6,505,000
This week: $4,152,000 - Total: $98,351,000
8. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
This week: $4,100,000 - Total: $4,100,000
9. The Golden Compass
This week: $3,980,000 - Total: $48,418,000
This week: $3,400,000 - Total: $6,385,000
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Release Date: April 1990
The evil Gul-Agieze wants to rule the world by awakening the terrible God of Destruction using the 8 Books of Mystical Power. It is up to Elta, the last Magician Lord, to find the 8 tomes and seal away the evil god, forever.
The Neo-Geo controller had four buttons but ADK thought gamers willing to buy this game were mentally-challenged and couldn’t handle so many, so only two are usable. Elta can jump and shoot two slow and microscopic waves of magic at a time. That’s it. You can shoot upwards, while ducking, and downwards if you’re jumping. The enemies move in such bizarre patterns that it doesn’t matter if you can shoot in many directions, you’ll get killed constantly anyway. You just can’t hit everything that’s coming at you and you die after only two hits. After you get hit once you blink for half a nanosecond before you can be hit again, so you basically die every two seconds.
Along the way you’ll find little treasure chests that have crap inside like food that doesn’t replenish your health and jewelry you can’t wear, but they also have one of two magic orbs. Oh boy! One of the orbs can upgrade your wimpy magic shots up to three times, making it less wimpy. The other orb is what makes Elta the raddest Magician Lord ever. It gives him the power to turn into six different forms: a ninja, a fire-breathing man-dragon, some sort of knight, a samurai, a blue watery man, and a brown electric dude. The characters you change into seem to be random and their special skills are not that great. Even worst, you lose the upgrade if you get hit, and you are CONSTANTLY getting hit! It’s fucking pointless. No wonder the Magician Lords are extinct.
All of the eight stages consist of a maze with lots of doors. You have to find the correct door that will lead you to a mini-boss, then you face the stage boss and move on. There are all sort of monsters flying around shooting at you, popping up from the ground or simply materializing where ever you’re standing for an instant death. Even if there were absolutely no enemies it would still take an eternity to finish each level because Elta moves slower than Stephen Hawking without his wheelchair.
Your character’s sprite is big and detailed, but doesn’t animate that well. Backgrounds look pretty good, but the castle wall texture gets old fast. Enemies look like shit, but that’s what they should look like. All the flying flaming skulls, zombies, catwomen, wraiths, and other creatures look pretty good, and the bosses are big and detailed.
Although the graphics is Magician Lord’s highest achievement, the same cannot be said about the sound. The music is forgettable and mostly annoying, and the sound effects are just average. Between boss fight, the evil Gul-Agieze says completely absurd things, and you get to actually hear him speak. The speech quality is not bad, but the broken English is. After all, this is the same development studio that brought us the god-awful Blue’s Journey.
Magician Lord may not be the worst game ever made, but it definitely doesn’t try too hard to be the best. Here’s something to think about: the first Ninja Gaiden was released a year earlier on an inferior console, and that game is so much better in every department. Shame on you, ADK.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
The first Crash Bandicoot commercial had a guy in a Crash suit visiting the Nintendo building, showing off the game. It wasn't hilarious but it was so popular Sony decided to include the same guy in the Crash suit in all following PSone Crash commercials.
Crash Team Racing was an awesome game, perhaps the best mascot kart racing game behind Mario Kart, and its TV ad was just as good. The part with the old lady at the end is the best.
There were several Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped commercials, but as funny as they were they weren’t as funny as these outtakes. You had to be subscribed to the PlayStation Underground “CD magazine” to see them, but not anymore.
Hollywood has been running out of ideas for a while and that's probably why 20th Century Fox is making another Street Fighter movie, but this one is all about Chun-Li. In the previous Universal Pictures version, Ming-Na Wen played the Chinese Interpol detective, but for this new one it'll be Canadian actress/model Kristin Kreuk (Euro Trip, Smallville) who will star as her. She's cute, but couldn't they find a Chinese woman like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's Ziyi Zhang to play Chun-Li? *sigh* We all know what happens when you mix Street Fighter with live action: shit. Anyway, the movie will begin filming in Thailand on March 2008.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Out of all the DOA babes, La Mariposa is probably my favorite. She was introduced to the series in Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball in 2003 with her real name, Lisa. She was school friends with Tina Armstrong and like Street Fighter’s Ryu and Ken they also share a rivalry. Lisa entered the Dead or Alive 4 tournament as a mysterious wrestler called La Mariposa, which means “the butterfly” in Spanish. Her outfits are all hot, as expected, with butterfly shaped masks and even a naughty kitty outfit. Lisa is the only dark-skinned woman in the Dead or Alive games, making her stand out even more than she normally would.
Little by little Tecmo has revealed information about her past. Before the DOA Volleyball gig she used to be a DOATEC scientist, making Lisa the smartest DOA girl. She has also worked as a broker, a holiday representative and most recently a luchadora, Spanish for “female wrestler”.
When La Mariposa is not breaking bones in the wrestling ring or owning beach bums at volleyball she enjoys surfing and eating cherry pie, like any other scientists turned pro-wrestler would.
There are a few things our parents warned us about when we were little; things like don't run with scissors, don't stick a fork in electrical outlets, and don't swim with your stomach full, but they never mentioned you shouldn't stand too close to a nuclear blast. Poor Sarah Connor had to learn this the hard way...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The Burnout Paradise demo has been available for download on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network for a while now, and as a fan of the series for many years I thought I’d go ahead and write my thoughts on it.
The main feature in Paradise is that the game is no longer linear. You are free to roam around Paradise City and choose which challenges to participate in. I wasn’t sure this was going to work, but playing is believing. The demo only allows you to race on two events and do a single stunt run, but what’s there is exciting enough to make me want to own it when it’s released next month. Oh, and the graphics are sick! Expect a full review early next year.
One of the best parts of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is the final battle between Cloud Strife and Sephiroth, and Kotobukiya captured the excitement and drama in this beautiful polystone sculpture. It consists of two pieces: one of Sephiroth and one of Cloud, but combined they form a breathtaking, underwear-soiling scene of one of the most epic battles in both video game and movie history. It costs around $200, but wouldn't it look nice sitting on a shelf in your game room?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
American actress and former model Rachel Nichols (Alias, Resurrecting the Champ) will play G.I. Joe's Master Sergeant Scarlett. Scarlett is a counter-intelligence operative and martial artist, and one of G.I. Joe's leading ladies. It'll be interesting to see Nichols pull off Scarlett's kicks and flips in the movie.
Korean actor Lee Byung-Hun (Capcom's Lost Planet) will play Cobra's ninja master Storm Shadow. Byung-Hun is regarded as a very good actor and has received many awards, but I have no idea if he knows martial arts.
Check out these two cool movie posters. On the left it's the Joker from The Dark Knight, being more creepy than funny, and on the right you have one of the Japanese poster for Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem.
As a bonus, here are two more from The Dark Knight. Batman watching over Gotham City, and the Joker about to terrorize it.
Now this is interesting, Chinese award-winning movie sensation Chow Yun Fat will play the horny Master Roshi in the Dragon Ball Z live-action movie. Will he wear a ridiculous beard and sunglasses? I can't wait to see him in a turtle suit.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Oh man… what is it with chicks playing male characters? I might never be able to look at Vegeta the same way again. If her face wasn’t hideous I could have at least enjoyed the massive boobage, but it’s all ruined now. The guy on the right looks really constipated, and I don’t remember his gloves having the “Dragon Ball Z” logo on them. Lame-o.
Piccolo might be easier to do with the proper make-up and costume, as seen here. The guy on the left kind of sucks because he used an umbrella for the shoulder pads, or whatever those things are. And those pink patches on his arms look like giant alien leeches. Nasty. The guy on the right looks better. He was brave enough to not wear a turban, showing his little antennas, and he’s all beat up and shit.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies, Zach Grenier, Toby Huss, Abhijati Jusakul, Teerawat Mulvilai
Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man)
PG-13 for some sequences of intense war violence and torture.
Based on the true story of Dieter Dengler, a German-American fighter pilot and highly decorated Vietnam veteran whose reconnaissance plane was shot down in 1966. Captured by enemy forces and held in a Laotian torture camp near the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Dengler defied death by organizing one of the most daring escapes in the Vietnam conflict.
My Two Cents:
During the early stages of the Vietnam War, U.S. Navy pilot Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale) was sent on a top-secret mission over Laos, but was shot down and taken hostage, tortured and then transported to a POW camp with other American pilots. Some of these prisoners had been held there for over two years. Dieter has no plans to stay that long and intends to escape, but Duane Martin (Steve Zahn) tells him that without water or food he won’t survive long in the jungle, and the rainy season won’t start for about six months. Dieter has no choice but to wait, but in the mean time he makes preparations and a detailed plan to escape.
Dieter convinces the other prisoners to work together as a team in order to escape, but they’re weak, demoralized and going crazy out of starvation and despair. When the day of escape finally comes, only Duane follows Dieter’s plan, but all the prisoners manage to escape. Everyone takes different routes through the jungle, but Duane and Dieter stick together. The two spend days searching for the Mekong River, trying to reach Thailand, but they are too tired and can only hope to be seen and rescued by one of the U.S. helicopters or planes that occasionally fly by.
Christian Bale once again gives an outstanding performance, but I was even more impressed by Steve Zahn. You really care for the characters and want them all to escape and eat a goddamn sandwich or something. Bale and Zahn lost a lot of weight for their roles, but Jeremy Davies, who played Gene DeBruin, literally looks like a skeleton. They have somehow survived years eating a few grains of rice and maggot-filled meat.
The men and women who keep them prisoners treat them like animals, actually, worse. Even though you hate their captors, you can’t really expect them to treat them any better. These U.S. soldiers came into their country to kill them. Imagine if strangers got into your house to kill you and your family and you managed to capture a bunch of them. What would you do to them?
War is hell, and Rescue Dawn makes me want to stay as far away as possible from it. You really feel these soldier’s pain, fear, hunger, and despair. The excellent acting only makes this true story more real, as if you were actually there. If you like war dramas and don’t mind shedding a tear or two, I strongly recommend watching Rescue Dawn.
The new The Dark Knight trailer that was leaked to the Internet a few days ago has now been released by Warner Bros., with much better resolution. Could this be the best Batman movie ever? So far so good.
1. I Am Legend
This week: $76,535,000
2. Alvin and the Chipmunks
This week: $45,000,000
3. The Golden Compass
This week: $9,025,000 - Total: $40,968,000
This week: $6,004,000 - Total: $92,271,000
5. No Country for Old Men
This week: $3,000,000 - Total: $33,562,000
6. The Perfect Holiday
This week: $2,552,000 - Total: $3,199,000
7. Fred Claus
This week: $2,305,000 - Total: $68,965,000
8. This Christmas
This week: $2,300,000 - Total: $46,043,000
This week: $1,853,000 - Total: $2,964,000
10. August Rush
This week: $1,785,000 - Total: $28,065,000
Sunday, December 16, 2007
After almost a year Square Enix has finally released a new trailer of Final Fantasy XIII, one of the few PlayStation 3-exclusive titles. It shows Lightning, the female lead character, kicking ass with her acrobatics, shooting skills and fire magic. At the end, a mysterious blond guy in a motorcycle that seems to be a transformed ice esper Shiva, shows up to help Lightning when she's outnumbered by soldiers. The game should be released sometime in 2008, hopefully.
I've seen many brain-shattering punches in movies, but none as brutal and devastating as this one. The slow-motion bullet-time effect makes this my favorite punch-to-the-face ever!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
After Raziel died as a human he, along with five other priests, were “resurrected” as undead vampires by Kain. Yeah, that guy from Blood Omen. They acted as Kain’s lieutenants and helped him acquire full control of Nosgoth. Raziel was so awesome that he developed a new vampiric feature, a pair of wings. Not even Kain had reached such awesomeness and this made him very jealous. He ordered two of his goons to rip Raziel’s wings off and cast him into the Lake of the Dead, where he became a wraith. He had lost his flesh and need for drinking blood and could now devour souls instead. He can also travel from the dead realm to the real world. Even though his wings were badly damaged, he can still hover around with what little is left of them.
Raziel set out to take revenge on Kain, but first he had to take care of the other priests turned vampire. At some point Raziel bonded with Kain’s weapon, the Soul Reaver. During a fight, Kain shattered the blade on Raziel’s head and it was sent to the Spectral Realm. Since Raziel can travel to that realm he was able to fuse with it. It’s not really a blade, but it’s used at one. See that weird light on Raziel’s right arm in the pic above? That’s the Soul Reaver.
The first game Raziel appeared was Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver for the PSone, released in 1999 by Eidos. It reminded me of Tomb Raider because there was a lot of exploring and climbing around. Fighting baddies was cool and you could perform little fatalities with spears and stuff. After defeating an enemy, their soul was released and you could absorb it for extra health. Raziel lost his lower jaw when he fell to the Lake of the Dead and when he lowers the cape around his mouth you can see the huge hole where he sucks up the souls. Creepy and cool at the same time.
There hasn’t been any new Legacy of Kain game since Defiance, released in 2003 for the PS2, Xbox and PC, but there’s hope. In Tomb Raider Legend, also developed by Crystal Dynamics, there was a secret costume for Lara Croft that gave her a neck tattoo of Raziel’s clan glyph and a belt buckle with Kain’s glyph. Maybe this is a hint, and we’ll be seeing more of Raziel in the future.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Console: TurboGrafx 16
Release Date: 1989
The Japanese version of Blazing Lazers is based on a film called Gunhead, but the English version, the one I played, has absolutely no story. The intro shows your ship shooting at a gigantic spacecraft, and that’s it. It’s a shooter, so who cares about plot?
Your ship looks very crappy, maybe even worst than the one from the original Asteroids. It’s just not cool-looking. The enemies are even worst. Rotating round things, possessed tiles from the floor below, floating brains, metallic objects that barely resemble jets, and other shit. The environments are boring, because empty space is boring. After a few stages you finally get some variety, but it’s nothing too interesting or original. There’s not a lot of animation either, as most enemies are stiff blocks. You won’t have time to care, though, since you’ll be too busy avoiding all the crap they shoot at you.
This is your average upward-scrolling 2D shooter. Fire at anything that moves, avoid bright colored balls (bullets?) and collect anything with giant letters or Roman numbers on it. You can move in eight directions, but the way the screen scrolls as you move left or right is very awkward and makes avoiding certain enemy bullets harder than it should be. Power-ups include additional mini-ships that circle your ship and fire at enemies, shields, and the ability to shoot backwards. You have weapon upgrades that shoot curvy lasers, homing missiles, multi-directional wave beams, and a homing snake-like green energy laser thing. You are constantly upgrading your weapon, like every three seconds, and most of the time you end up with one you don’t like or downright hate. Thankfully you can hold the fire button to constantly shoot. I really, really hate having to tap the button every time I want to shoot in other shooters. There are also bombs that don’t cover much space but deal massive damage.
The first few stages are so easy you’ll think you’re the king of shooters, but then you’ll be twitching and swearing at the screen. In level 5 there are some Easter Island heads, ripped off from Gradius, that shoot so many green starfish at you there’s almost no way of avoiding them. I hate those fucking stone heads! If you live long enough to reach 8 you’ll be bombarded by gay-colored bubbles of death throughout the entire goddamn stage. It’s fucking impossible to avoid all the shit that’s out to kill you. Level 9 is the last stage and here you have to fight some of the previous bosses. For some reason it seems easier the second time around. When you finally reach the last boss it turns out to be a giant woman that shoots missiles from her armpits. What the hell where the developers smoking?
Don’t expect awesome music or sound effects like in R-Type here. The music is so boring I acquired immunity to it and can no longer hear it. The sound effects are what you’d expect from a random 80’s shooter. Nothing spectacular or horrible.
Although certainly not the best shooter out there it’s way better than Air Zonk. There’s enough challenge to keep you busy but not many rewards. A two player more would have really helped.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Six new designs have been added to my T-shirt shop, Docking Bay 94. Click on the links to view different T-shirt styles.
1. The President has been kidnapped by Ninjas! - Bad Dudes
2. Tatsumaki Senpuukiaku - Ryu and Ken (Street Fighter)
3. The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1. - C-3PO (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)
4. Smile, you son of a bitch! - Brody (Jaws)
5. I am a Jedi, like my father before me. - Luke Skywalker (Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)
6. My spider-sense is tingling, if you know what I mean. - Eddie Brock (Spider-Man 3)
Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones, Robert Mammone, Rick Hoffman, Tory Mussett, Christopher Baker, Masa Yamaguchi, Manu Bennett
Scott Wiper (A Better Way to Die)
R for pervasive strong brutal violence and for language.
While waiting out a death sentence in an infamous Central American prison, hard-boiled convict Jack Conrad is surprised to learn he's been bought by a reality show mogul who wants to cast him in his latest project. His assignment? To join nine other convicted murderers on the shores of a deserted island, where they'll fight to the death for the title of sole survivor.
My Two Cents:
I can’t stand reality shows. Rich bastards finding hooker brides, assholes dancing, spoiled bitches being cunts, etc. But I have to admit, as sick and immoral as it sounds, a reality show about a bunch of dangerous convicts on death row literally fighting for survival against each other on a remote island sounds awesome. I still wouldn’t watch it, but as a business it would bring the creators insane amounts of money. You know everyone and their neighbor would tune in.
That’s pretty much the plot of The Condemned. You have 9 vicious, murdering, criminals who have been sentenced to death on different countries. The 10th convict is Jack Conrad (WWE’s Stone Cold Steve Austin), who’s reason for imprisonment in a putrid jail in El Salvador is not immediately revealed. They’ve all been chosen by Breckel (Robert Mammone), a clever but twisted-minded millionaire producer, to participate in his deadly reality show called, yup, The Condemned. The rules of the “game” are simple. They’ll be dropped off a helicopter on different parts of a remote island. Each of them has a bomb attached to their left foot that will blow in 30 hours. Trying to remove it will cause it to blow. There’s a red piece of plastic that can be easily removed, setting off the bomb for an easy kill. Whoever is left alive in the end will be set free and given a crapload of money.
As sick as it sounds, and it is, Breckel gives a fairly reasonable argument. These people have stolen, killed, raped, and apparently enjoyed themselves while doing it. Only two criminals don’t seem that bad. Well, three if you count Conrad. Paco and Rosa are a couple, as in husband and wife. They don’t want to fight and just want to be together. Charming, but they’re still serial killers. So Breckel says, if they’re all to be executed anyway, is it really that wrong to make them fight for freedom? I mean, he is giving one of them freedom, so he’s actually saving a human life. Sounds like your typical Jesus Christ right there.
The island is very small and has about 400 video cameras all over. The show will only be transmitted via Internet because no TV station would risk broadcasting this since it’s completely illegal. Breckel’s staff don’t give a shit about the cruelty or immorality behind the show, at least at first. Breckel’s girlfriend is instantly repulsed when McStarley (Vinnie Jones) gives a brutal beating to Rosa, rapes her and then blows her up, all in front of injured husband Paco. As soon as people start dying in the island more and more people log on to the show’s website, going from 5 million users to 12 million in a matter of minutes. Each user must pay $49.99 to be allowed to watch, so that’s almost $600,000,000 right there. Not bad for such a sick attraction.
So, what the hell is Stone Cold doing here? It turns out he’s not a bad guy after all. He is an ex-military man who was doing a special drug-busting operation in El Salvador when he was caught. The U.S. government didn’t do anything to help him and was just left there to rot. Still, Conrad didn’t talk even after the tortures. A real American hero, indeed.
Conrad doesn’t want to kill anyone and simply defends himself. After a while he gets pissed off at McStarley for viciously killing Paco, and the game is on. A lot of shit happens and a lot of people die in horrible ways. You’ll have to watch it to know if Conrad makes it out of the island alive. What do you think?
The Condemned was a huge flop at the box office, making only $7.4 million dollars. Every single movie critic took a dump on the movie and Lionsgate didn’t even bother promoting it properly. It’s 30 minutes too long, sexist, has many plot holes, bad acting, and a fucking shaky camera during action sequences. So it comes as a huge surprise that I actually enjoyed the film. Yes, it’s bad, I know it is, but I like it. I guess I just like Steve Austin and Vinnie Jones so much they alone made this worth watching. Rent it and watch it with a couple of buddies while chugging down beer cans.
I like gameplay footage in my video game commercials, but this Japanese Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater ad is so good it doesn't even need it. Humor is truly universal.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney, Kathleen Quinlan, Dennis Haysbert, Gary Cole, Caroline Dhavernas
Billy Ray (Shattered Glass)
PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language.
Soon after landing a plum job working for FBI operative Robert Hanssen, Eric O'Neill realizes he's been brought in to spy on his boss, who's suspected of selling secrets to the Soviets. But can O'Neill handle such an important assignment with so little field experience, or will Hanssen get to him first? Based on the true story of the worst security breach in U.S. history.
My Two Cents:
This is a spy movie, but if you’re expecting James Bond-type of action and adventure, you will be greatly disappointed. Breach deals with real life people who put their lives on the line for their country.
Junior FBI employee Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe) is working hard to go from lame surveillance assignments to full-blown special agent assignments. Although he doesn’t know it, his achievements in surveillance and counterterrorism missions have caught the eye of the FBI director, and he is sent on the most important assignment of his life. He is to spy on Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper), a renowned FBI veteran operative who is suspected of being a double-agent, leaking confidential and vital information to the Soviets. Hanssen has been under suspicion for years, but no one has ever found any real evidence to arrest him. He’s responsible for the deaths of at least 50 U.S. agents working covertly in Russia. He’s considered to be the smartest, most dangerous spy ever.
Eric is only told that Hanssen is a sexual deviant at first, and this frustrates him as he wants more important assignments, but he’s slowly let in on the darker side of his new job. Before knowing Hanssen is a traitor to his country, Eric befriends him and even learns to admire and respect him. Hanssen is a former police officer, is loved by his wife and his grandkids, goes to church every single day and has worked 25 years for the FBI. There’s just no way to know he’s really a bad guy.
Hanssen is a human lie detector and is constantly testing Eric, but he somehow avoids detection and actually gains Hanssen’s trust. This, of course, is his downfall. The FBI rig Hanssen’s car with a tracking device and he notices it. That’s when he decides to quit being a double-agent and save his skin, but Eric makes sure he makes one last drop to the Soviets by giving him a speech about him being worthless, and that is when he’s caught.
This was all over the news in 2001, so you know exactly what’s going to happen when watching the film. The movie actually starts with the TV broadcast of Robert Hanssen’s arrest. But I still recommend the movie for Chris Cooper’s outstanding performance, certainly worthy of an Oscar.
There’s nothing wrong with the film, at all, but this is not really my type of thriller as it’s not too exciting. Everyone acted well and the pacing was good. I was entertained the whole 2 hours and this case is so interesting I ended up looking for more information about Hanssen on Wikipedia. It’s all really frightening when you think about it.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Catwomen are sexy, and Felicia is one of the sexiest kitties I’ve seen. She’s basically naked, with some white fur covering the naughty parts. I’m aware that she has disturbingly large claws on her hands and feet, but she would rather catch butterflies than maul people. Actually, she hates fighting, but mean people need to be stopped one way or another. When she’s not shredding bad guys to death she enjoys singing and performing on stage with her kitty friends in Las Vegas.
Felicia is one of the most agile fighters in DarkStalkers, known as Vampire in Japan. She can't resist bouncy things like yarn balls and is fascinated by butterflies. Naps are a top priority, especially right after beating someone to a pulp. She has a very kind heart and in DarkStalkers 3 she even turns into a nun and opens her own orphanage named "Felicity House".
Her popularity is massive among DarkStalkers fans and that’s why Capcom put her in other games like Marvel vs. Capcom, Pocket Fighter and Capcom Fighting Evolution. She was also featured in the DarkStalkers anime and the UDON comics, where this particular picture of hers comes from. The DarkStalkers series seems to be dead, but perhaps Capcom will add a new chapter in the near future and we’ll get to enjoy Felicia in full high-definition 3D glory.