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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Rodshark's reviews' LiveJournal:

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Monday, March 23rd, 2009
8:55 pm
[rodshark]
The Watchmen: Post-book Review
Well, I have watched the Watchmen without having read the graphic novel.

Friday, I read the novel.

Friday Night, I watched the Watchmen again. Here are my thoughts on the movie now that I have read the book.

A comparison

Well, I think the movie holds up very well after reading the book. A few minor details I didn't exactly understand fully made more sense after reading the book (like Ozmandius's giant pet cat).

(spoilery bits after the cut)
Read more...Collapse )

So in my opinion, the movie edges out over the book. Movie: 26 Book: 24. Although both the book and the movie are incredible, rich, interesting works of art and I enjoyed both of them immensely, the improvements that the movie did make outweight the depth and richness that they cut out of the graphic novel. That being said, I think they are both outstanding on their own merits.

Current Mood: contemplative
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
6:34 pm
[rodshark]
Who watches the Watchmen?
I did.

Went and saw this much anticipated (and much debated) movie yesterday. I have never really even HEARD of the Watchmen until the buzz around this movie began hitting the internet. I thought it was more of a "kiddie" comic due to some of the characters I seen (like the Owl guy and the weird looking blue dude), but as I began to read up on the comic and the universe, I soon realized that I was sorely mistaken and this comic had the psychological depth and realism (as well as a gritty world view and much violence) that most comic books didn't have.

I was very interested in reading the comic after I read up on it, and my girlfriend even owns the graphic novel compilation of the comics... she even offered to lend it to me. But I declined (at least for that moment anyway... will definitly take her up on the offer now!). But if I know there is a book version of an upcoming movie I want to see, I try to avoid reading the book until AFTER I have watched the movie. That way I can try to enjoy the movie on it's own merit without constantly comparing the two in my head (with the movie invariably losing out since it can't compete with my imagination usually).

So I went in to watch the Watchmen without any preconceptions or bias and knowing only a basic bit about the characters, world, and plot.

I really enjoyed the movie. Although it was around 3 hours or so, I was glued to my seat the entire time (hell I didn't even get up to go to the bathroom!). The movie does a masterful job of explaining the setting (which is an alternate history version of Earth that takes place in a fictional 1985, with the presence of superheroes influencing world events) without bogging down in exposition and backstory. It SHOWS us through little moments of history and news snippets instead of telling us, and that made the exposition much less boring and much more entertaining.

Basically the movie begins with a semi-retired superhero named the "Comedian" (referred to as "Masks" in the story) who works for the government as a state sponsored agent, getting brutally beaten in his apartment before being thrown out the window by an unseen assailant.
Nobody knows that the guy was the Comedian, but another vigilante mask named Rorschach (who has a mask that has constantly shifting black spots on it which resembled a ink-blot or "Rorschach" test) investigates and finds out that the murder victim was the Comedian and thinks that there is a plot to kill retired masks so he goes and warns the other remaining members of the old crew. And along the way, they discover the real plot, all the while the Armegeddon Clock keeps getting closer and closer as America (under a dictator like Nixon on his 3rd presidental term) and Russia inch closer to nuclear war.

I thought the plot was awesome. It wasn't the cut and dry "good guys versus the bad guys" kind of story where everything is so defined. Everyone, both good and bad are shades of grey. With all the characters having their own virtues and flaws and what may be for the best, might not be what is really "good" or "right". Since I really didn't know much about the story, I was hooked to see what was going to happen next and what the outcome of everything was going to be. I kinda knew what was going to happen towards the end, but the movie does a masterful job of still keeping you wondering exactly HOW it was going to happen.

The acting I thought was really good for the most part. It might have been a bit over the top in some parts, a little stiff and wooden in others, but that is to be expected from a comic book movie to a degree. The actors who played Silk Spectre, Niteowl, and Ozmodeous did a servicable job, as did all the peripheral actors. But the actors who stole the show have to be Rorschach (who sounded JUST like Christian Bale during the voice-overs- of course anyone who talks like a monotone sociopath sounds like Bale *lol*), the Comedian (who looked and acted JUST like Robert Downey Jr.s steroid popping maniac uncle *lol*), and Dr. Manhatten who manages to play a god-like figure losing touch with his humanity very well (although I would have appreciated him wearing underwear once and a while... that was one thing I wasn't expecting... to see "Mr" Manhatten up on the big screen *lol*). Of course, I can't say that I wouldn't do the same thing if I had god-like powers. I would go around naked all the time too since really, who could stop me? *lol*

The only part of the movie I disliked was the music that they used for some scenes. I realize it is a period piece to a degree, and that the use of 80's pop music is used to try and establish the setting, but sometimes the songs they used and the way they used them took away from the story and what was on the screen to a degree instead of adding to it.

Overall I really liked this movie. It had an interesting visual feel, a unique story and universe, and had some really awesome and memorable characters. Despite some cheesiness and badly placed 80's music, I thought it was fantastic and look forward to seeing it again with Phyllis and to read the graphic novel sometime soon. I give it a 7.5 out of 10.
Friday, March 6th, 2009
8:31 am
[rodshark]
My Name is Bruce
I'll be honest... I was looking forward to this movie coming out for a LOOOONG time. I would hear rumors that they had it done and were going to release it, but the movie execs took a look at the finished movie and said "No way, this movie is too good, so here is more money to make the special effects better and to clean it up a bit"

Thats not a good sign, that should be a GREAT sign since movie companies NEVER want to give movie producers more money?! So I waited, half-hearted checking from time to time. And then I learn that the movie had already been released in limited theaters in October, with little fanfare or promotion, WTF?! I guess they are counting on the DVD sales to make it into a lucritive cult-classic in the likes of Campbells other recent movie Bubba Ho-Tep.

So, after months of waiting and anticipation I FINALLY got to watch the movie.

And it was one of the rare occasions that I was actually disappointed in a Bruce Campbell movie :(

Maybe I had too high of hopes for it. Maybe I overhyped it in my head to a point where the real movie could never compare, but for the most part I found this movie to be disappointing.

I don't think I had unreasonable expectations since I found the plot and cheesy special effects rather enjoyable. The plot follows a teenager (who is a HUGE Bruce Campbell fan), who along with his soon to be dead friend go to a abandoned mine and unwittingly release Yaun Zi, chinese protector of the dead and patron saint of bean curd. Yaun Zi has been "Unreashed" and is now slaughtering locals left and right.

So, who can stop Yaun Zi and save the town? Well in his delusional hero-worship state, the kid thinks that Bruce Campbell, legendary defeater of the Deadite hordes and zombie slayer extraordinairre can save the day.

Problem is he is a washed up, alcoholic, douche whose career is sliding down the slope to nowhereville faster than an oiled up slip and slide. His sleazy agent promises him a birthday present that he will never forget to help cheer him up so when the Kid kidnaps his hero to come save the day, he thinks its a big act to make him feel important and special again as a birthday present.

So the movie is kind of a cross between the Three Amigos and the Evil Dead starring Bruce Campbell. Sounds good in theory at least.

The disappointing parts of the movie that I found was mostly... Bruce Campbell *gasp*. I know it is sacriligious and unheard of to critisize Mr. Campbell (especially since I love his movies so much), but many of his scenes in the movie were played way too "Over the top" and seemed like he was overacting worse than Shatner on a power trip. Plus there is nothing in the opening parts that establish his character that make him seem likeable or any real hints that deep down he is just a nice guy that is going through a really rough time in his life.
There were a couple of opportunities that they could have used to have done this, and if they would have toned his the performance in the early scenes, and had a touch more heart and warmth to the character, you would root for him a bit more and actually care about the character.

It also had some rather poor writing in spots and some very glaring plot holes.

Overall though, it was a fairly enjoyable movie despite much of the above grumbling about overacting. It does have moments of the old Campbell Magic (especially in some of the later scenes when he stops acting like such a overacting douche). And the loser who thinks its an act, realizes it's real, runs away like a coward, then steps up to win the day formula is done fairly well with a somewhat interesting twist to it.

So overall I give it a 5 out of 10. It's a good solid rental or Netflix choice.

Current Mood: disappointed
Saturday, January 10th, 2009
10:23 pm
[rodshark]
A Mighty Wind
Take one part Spinal Tap, one part quirky characters, and then add a bunch of quasi-parody/quasi-real Folk music and you would have this movie. Basically it's a mockumentary by the guys who did Spinal Tap, only about Folk music, musicians, and the culture.

What's that you say? It doesn't sound like it would be a very funny movie or a very good concept to parody? Well... actually I can't really argue with you much there. Fact is, I actually kind of like this movie and I really couldn't tell you why honestly.

If you are a fan of folk music, or know a bit about the groups and history of it, this movie will be to you, what Spinal Tap was to people who know and love Rock music. It stars many of the same actors (The guys who played as the band Spinal Tap play a Folk music trio named "The Folksmen"). It has Eugene Levee and Catherine O'Hara in it, and a wide supporting case of goofy, quirky, and mostly unlikeable characters.

The story mainly follows the son of a legendary music producer who recently died that was well known for creating and managing many folk groups back in the 60's. The son and his brother and sister decide to honor his memory by putting on a huge folk concert in New York that will be aired live on PBS and feature some of their dads most loved and popular acts.

This lineup of singers and groups haven't had a real "gig" in years and now have to try and scramble to get ready for a big concert. The three groups this film follows are;
The New Main Street Singers: This group of nine singers is the modern "reinvention" of a group that was big in the 60's. The new group has this almost sickly sweet look to them, but all the members have this dark, icky undertone to them (like one used to be homeless, another was in the porn industry, another was a "musical" abuse survivor and so on).
The Folksmen: A group of three folk musicians who hadn't aged well and went their seperate ways now having to reunite and try to figure out what the heck they are going to sing besides their one "hit" song.
Mitch and Mickey: A sort of "Sonny and Cher" singing couple that had a couple of big hit records and then went through a very nasty, bitter, and violent breakup. Now he just recently got out of the loony bin for anxiety, stress, and depression (and left too soon according to the nurse) and she has married a catheter salesman and is living in suburbian bliss/hell. Their "reunion" at the concert is the subject of much speculation as their big hit song "Kiss at the end of the rainbow" has the song ending with them giving each other a sweet kiss.

Well the movie follows the family, groups, and organizers as they try to get their acts together, put everything into place, and get through the concert. Subtle humor, inside folk humor, and mildy zany antics ensue and there are some decent comedic moments, but no true "Belly laugh" moments. The comedy is a bit more cerebral and subtle... almost to it's detriment. Plus ALL the characters are flawed, quirky, and unlikeable for the most part which might be a drawback for some people.

I enjoyed this movie, and oddly enough, the fairly well-written original "parody" folk songs featured in the movie are actually decent if you like that kind of music and tend to get stuck in your head whether you want them too or not.

If you like Guest's other films like Spinal Tap, Best in Show, and For your Consideration, and you enjoy his brand of subtle "inside" humor about various businesses, you will enjoy this one as well. As for others... don't expect a laugh out loud funny movie or a lot of jokes, gags, wit, or slapstick, the humor isn't like that... it's more irony and parody and you almost have to make your own jokes at their expense. I bought the movie for $3.00 in a bargain bin... my girlfriend after watching it (and wishing for blood, bloood, BLOOOOD and many of the characters to die), said I spent $2.50 too much *lol*.

I give it a solid 6 out of 10. It's a unique, quirky comedy that many might find oddly entertaining, although they might not have any idea why.

Current Mood: curious
Friday, December 12th, 2008
12:20 am
[rodshark]
Man VS Truth
Let me be blunt... I hate "Bear" Grylls. And by proxie I pretty much hate his "survival" show that is currently on Discovery channel.

I think the thing that bothers me the most about "Bear" is that, well first of all he changed his name to "Bear" to try and be cool (which instantly makes him NOT cool), plus he has this cocky, arrogant, self-important attitude that just really grates on my nerves.

Second of all, he is a fraud and a liar. He constantly went around saying that his show was "real" and that he actually went to these places alone (or with a cameraman) and surivived there without any support for several days. When the fact was he ALWAYS had a full camera crew, full film crew, full safety crew, CATERING, a production crew, all standing by. PLUS after a shoot he routinely returns to a hotel or cushy base camp until the next shot. There are scenes of him arguing with someone on a cellphone waiting for a shot to be ready. Plus he has used smoke machines, fake food, staged props, and planted animals (like the "wild" horses that clearly had horseshoes on and the "wild" bison that obviously came from a range and had a brand mark on it). His show from beginning to end is a sham and a fraud... a "pseudo-survival" show that had to place a disclaimer in front of it because people began to call him out on his bullshit.



Not only all of that, for a long time he routinely referred to himself as "the youngest man to have ever climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest". And it is true that he WAS the youngest man to do so. Until someone else beat him for the title. Even after someone else claimed that record, Bear routinely still referred to himself by that title until a bunch of people began to call him out on his bullshit and he reluctantly admitted he wasn't anymore on Letterman.

I WILL give the man credit, he is a trained climber and did do a remarkable feat. He WAS in the British special forces (as a medic for 1 year until by his own self-admitted mistakes he botched a parachut jump and broke his back). He DID recover from a very serious life-threatening injury. Not many people can break their back and come back from it as successfully as he did. And to a certain degree he DOES know what he is doing and has knowledge of survival skills.

However, his whole show (besides being a fraud) has this whole ego masturbation "Look what I can do!" feel too it and is really nothing more than a glorified version of the show Fear Factor except it is out in the wild instead of a studio. Face it, there is a couple of un-necessary stunts every episode that most surivial experts agree are stupid if you are really out by yourself trying to survive. And he eats something gross or disguisting every episode just for dramatic effect and not for any real reason except to show how "tough" he is by eating nasty things.

On Occasion, his show does give some good advice, or shows a technique that might acutally be useful out in that particular environment. But when compared to authentic survival shows hosted by much naturally cooler, more talented and secure people... he falls way short.
I give his show a 4 out of 10. Not bad if there is NOTHING else on or if he is in an interesting location, but for the most part, his personality and the "extreme" nature of the show makes it unpleasant and unentertainng.

Bottom line is that he is a pretty-boy with an inferiority complex that feels the need to try and change his name to be cool, do extreme things to prove how "tough" he is, and is willing to lie and cheat in order to avoid being uncomfortable or inconvienanced for a couple of nights. I am sure the pretty boy image, accent, and extreme nature of his show appeals to some, but not me. People who get by on looks and lies while pretending to be cool irk me more than just about anything. They aren't being true to anyone... especially themselves. And though people like "Bear" usually find some degree of success, it's still a lie.

Plus I REALLY HATE that idiotic announcer that does the show promos in that bullshit "old fart mountain man" voice. "Tune in to the next Man VS Wild and see Bear hogtie a rattlesnake and then drink turpentine and piss on a prairie fire!"

Current Mood: cynical
Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
10:20 pm
[rodshark]
Better than Sex
But Rod, What are you saying!? What can be Better than Sex?

Sex with love, emotion, and passion. That is what the message of this fun, sexy romantic comedy romp is.



I just watched this wonderful little import with my girlfriend last weekend and was hooked. Normally, I am not much of a fan of romantic comedies. They tend to be mostly chick flicks that tend to be heavy handed and beat you over the head with romance. This one however, has a lot of humor and natural chemistry between the characters and actors to tell the story of a one night stand that turns into 3 days of fun and fornication, and eventually into love.

The movie stars David Wenham (Faramir from the LOTR movies) as a wildlife photographer who meets a beautiful woman played by Susie Porter (The Monkey Mask, Aftershocks)and on a cab ride home decide to have a one night stand that turns into a love affair. Both actors give very good performances and you can tell they had a natural chemistry and really enjoyed making this movie. Of course since the movie is pretty much two people hanging out naked in an apartment for three days having tons of sex while getting to know and love each other... how could you not? The supporting cast is very sparse with only a few lines here and there with the occasional "Phone gossip" cut scenes that shows the ripple effect of friends talking about a friend being with someone and gabbing about it. One supporting cast member that actually has a small, but substantial role is the almost omnicient "Fairy Godmother" cab driver that acts as a sort of relationship counciler.

Besides the humor and great job acting by the two main characters, one of the things that was so enjoyable for me was how much I really identified with the male character. I saw so much of the little quirks and things that I do in love and sex on the screen. From him picking up his underwear off the floor with his toes, to the goofy sense of humor, to the love of giving oral and the inevitable "poking" that always happens from spooning with a beautiful naked woman, there were scenes that just hit so close to home for me in a most enjoyable way. The fact that I always identified with Faramir in the LOTR movies doesn't help this much either *lol*

So much of what happens in the movie (Mostly the laying around naked in an apartment having fun, talking, and having tons of sex) is so reminicent of the wonderful times that Phyllis and I share, it makes the movie almost a sort of snapshot of our relationship to a degree.

So if you are in the mood for a romantic comedy that doesn't beat you over the head with lovey dovey stuff, this is a wonderful little gem. For the gals out there, you get to see Faramir from LOTR running around mostly naked for an hour and a half. For the guys, you get to see an adorable, realistic looking blonde woman running around mostly naked and having sex for an hour and a half. But besides the sex and comedy, it does have a good message and is a very enjoyable movie in a genre of preachy valentines day commercials.

Current Mood: impressed
Monday, August 25th, 2008
6:32 pm
[rodshark]
Under-rated comedys
In the annals of movie history, there have been some truly great classics of comedy. Films such as Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Airplane, Blazing Saddles are regarded by most of the populace as some of the funniest things that have even been put to celluloid.

But there are other movies that have seemed to pass by the casual movie-goer. They are either forgotten, or don't generate the buzz and word of mouth to make them even cult classics. Yet, in the end, they are still really good comedies. While they may not be quite on the same level as a classic, they more than provide a couple of hours of enjoyment and a few belly laughs.

1: The Man Who Knew Too Little. One of the least appreciated, but undeniably funny, Bill Murray movies. This film also features Alfred Molina as the villian Boris the Butcher. It follows the misadventures of a bumbling American visiting his brother in England as a surprise on his birthday. As a present (and to get rid of him for the evening since they have a fancy dinner party), they get him on a "reality play" that is a play that is played out in real life. Unfortunatly, Bill Murrays character answers the wrong phone and is caught up in an assassination attempt, but he thinks it's all part of the show. Has some very funny moments in it and is an enjoyable romp.

2: So I Married an Axe Murderer. One of the least appreciated movies by Mike Myers. This movie has all of the goofy charm that Myers is known for. Has a sweet, yet bizarre love story, and you HAVE to see Mike Myers doing the scottish father. It is hilarious and is one of the characters I love to quote.


3: Defending Your Life. An unusual and little known movie, but a funny one nonetheless. It stars Albert Brooks as a man who just died and the afterlife is nothing like he was expecting. After you die, you go to a city where you have a trial to defend your life. If your life was full of growth and overcoming fear, then you move on to the next plane of existance. If not, you go back to Earth and live another life. Along the way his character grows, matures, and falls in love. A very under-rated movie.


4: See No Evil, Hear No Evil. A little known Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder picture. Richard Pryor plays a blind man. Gene Wilder plays a deaf shop owner. And they unwittingly get caught up in a murder and are the only eyewitnesses. The police think they did it. The real killers are after them since they might be able to identify them, and they must try to find a way to work together to save their necks and get the real killers. Has some very touching and funny moments in it. And Kevin Spacey plays the villain.


5: Mom and Dad Save the World. I saved one of my favorite under-rated movies for last. I LOVE this movie. It is hilarious. I'm not even sure I can really describe what the plot to this movie is, so I will let the link to a clip to a video do that for me. But needless to say it is a very funny and unusual movie.
http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2593784089/

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
7:24 pm
[rodshark]
Hellboy II: the Golden Army
I went to see this movie last weekend with my girlfriend and had a great time watching the film.

Hellboy 2 is the sequel to the awesome movie Hellboy. This time around the Right hand of Doom, demon spawned protector of Earth must fight a ruthless Elf prince who has usurped control over the mystical fey realm and has broken the truce that the two worlds have had for thousands of years. In order to destroy the "bottomless greed and destruction" of the human world, he seeks the pieces of a broken crown that will allow him to reawaken the ultimate force... the Golden Army. It is up to Hellboy, his pyrokinetic girlfriend Liz, and the rest of the BPRD to stop him.

I thought that this movie was a lot of fun. It wasn't quite as dark as the first one, but it had more comedy and the villain in this movie were much more sympathetic. In fact I think it had a rather sad end... I was sort of rooting for the Fey realm to win, or at least some sort of peaceful co-existence and renewed truce. Oh well, it was still extremely enjoyable and fun.

One of the main differences in this movie is that there is a lot more relationship humor. The good hearted (and slightly explosive) squabbles between Hellboy and Liz were humorous. And the budding romance between Abe Sapiens and Princess Nuala was really sweet, especially watching Abe try to deal with the new experience and Hellboy trying ineptly to give him advice is one of the funniest scenes in the movie.

Guillermo del Toro provides a visual feast with this movie with an incredible sense of style and fantasy. The special effects were extremely well done and stunning with only a few noteable exceptions. The beginning sequence with a little Hell"boy" could have been done better, the prosthetics on the child actor weren't done as well as they could be imo, and the telling of the Golden Army fairy tale could have been done with a little more flare. I liked the concept, I just felt the execution was a bit off. But despite a few little hiccups, I thought the movie looked fantastic.

The acting was very well done (except the kid playing the kid hellboy), Ron Pearlman does his usual fantastic job playing the hot-tempered, crude, but likeable and empathetic Hellboy. Selma Blair was incredibly cute, likeable, and realistic as the even hotter tempered, powerful, but empathetic Liz. And even though David Hyde Pierce didn't reprise his role as Abe Sapiens, Doug Jones does an incredible job in the role that was originally designed for him (I honestly didn't realize that it was a different actor until the credits rolled). The new character the disembodied spirit Johann Krauss was very enjoyable with Seth Mecfarlane doing the voice of the German paranormal fighter. Two other new characters Prince Nuada (Luke Gross) and Princess Nuala (Anna Walton) did very good jobs as the Vengeful Elf prince and his sympathetic sister. Gross makes the character elegant yet dangerous, brutal yet sympathetic.
The only weak bits of acting (besides the kid), was the usually great Jeffrey Tambor as the over-stress, under-appreciated, and perpetually ran-over director of the BPRD. In the first movie it seems like he was a more rounded character, in this film he seems weaker, whinyier, and much less rounded.

Overall I would say that this is a worthy edition to the Hellboy francise. It had some good action, a decent plot with a sympathetic villian, some good acting and special effects, and had a good deal of comedic moments (even if some of them were a bit cheesy *lol*). Over all I would give Hellboy II: the Golden Army an 7 1/2 out of 10. Definitly worth seeing in the theater, and even more worth buying when it comes out on DVD.

I cannot wait to see what he does with the Hobbit!~

Current Mood: entertained
Thursday, July 10th, 2008
10:42 pm
[rodshark]
Wall-E
Ya know, I took my younger nephew to go see this movie the other day. I went in with sort of a "Just taking my little nephew to go see a little kiddie movie" attitude and mindset. From the previews and everything, it seemed like it was going to be real "cutesy" and annoying to a certain degree. The main characters voice especially seemed like it would grate on my nerves (I even took a couple of tylenol in anticipation of the headache that the little robotic toddler voice would give me).

After watching the movie however, I was hooked. I really enjoyed this movie. Much more so than I ever thought I would. I went into Wall-E cringing... I came out almost cheering.

Wall-E follows the life of a lone garbage compacting droid piddling around Earth for the last 700 years after the garbage and pollution problem on Earth got so bad, Humanity had to abandon it while robots cleaned the place up. Over the last 7 centuries, all the other droids had broken and now Wall-E is the only robot left on Earth.

Spending all that time alone, Wall-E developed a quirky, eccentric personality. He begins to stack the little cubes of compressed garbage into huge, elaborate stuctures, he collects little nicknacks and interesting items that catches his eye, he watches old musicals/romantic movies, and sometimes stares at the stars. Wall-E is lonely and wishes he had a friend. To help ease his loneliness, he adopts a cute little pet cockroach (much cuter than it sounds), but he is still very lonely.

Until one day his quiet, quirky little world is turned upside down when a spaceship lands and a modern, ultra sleek state of the art robot calle EVE lands and they become friends. Well he follows her into space has all sorts of adventures and finds true friendship and love in the end while helping the human race return back to Earth.

The movie was an extremely enjoyable little romp and you really find yourself engrossed in the world and characters in it. The main character wasn't nearly as annoying as I thought he would be and fortunatly they used his voice sparingly. The peripheral characters were also rather entertaining to a degree (especially the little cleaning robot MO), and the setting was much darker and more depressing than I was expecting it to be. The movie had a lot of heart and I actually enjoyed the movies main theme of trying to find friendship and love. The movie's secondary theme about the future of humanity and our wasteful, lazy, and careless ways and lifestyle was a little more heavy handed and preachy, but still enjoyable. But seeing what happens to humanity after 700 years of leisure, luxury, and laziness was more than a bit frightening. Still though, the movie had a happy ending on all accounts and wrapped things up quite nicely. I loved the little primitive pictures that played over the credits that showed what happened after the movie ends.

I think the part of this movie that really won me over, was how much I really identified with the main character Wall-E. Like him, I spend much of my time alone, have a quirky and unusual personality, and really do not fit in with the "modern" world. And like Wall-E, I search for love and friendship in a huge, cold, and seemingly empty universe.

Wall-E is a very cute, funny, and enjoyable movie that almost anyone of any age will enjoy and find something worthwhile in. The plot was fairly good, the voice (and bits of live action) acting was pretty good (and luckily the computer voices were not overused), and the animation was crisp, colorful, and entertaining. It had a good bit of humor, a story with some heart, and a good (if slightly preachy) message. I would definitly recomend going and seeing this movie if you have any kids. Even if you don't, it is still a fun, cute, and enjoyable film. I give it a 7 out of 10. I will be buying the dvd once it becomes available.

Oh and almost better than the movie itself was the short little cartoon that they showed before the movie "Presto and the rabbit" which was a loony toons type cartoon folling the battle between a starving rabbit and the magician late for his show trying to get him to perform. It was hilarious.

Current Mood: geeky
Monday, July 7th, 2008
11:03 am
[rodshark]
Kung Fu Panda
I went and seen this cute little movie a couple weeks ago with my nephew.

The story follows the (mis)adventures of a portly Panda named Po, who works at his fathers noodle resturant. But this panda has a deep love of all things Kung Fu and is obsessed with being a Kung Fu master like his heroes, the Furious Five.

Tai Lung, the evil snow leapord Kung Fu legend who laid waste to the region and tried to take the mystical dragon scroll by force is prophesized to escape from the inescapable prison in which he is being held in. The only thing that can stop Tai Lung from destroying the land and getting vengence is the legendary "Dragon Warrior" who will gain the power of the dragon scroll and defeat Tai Lung.

During a ceremony to decide who the Dragon Warrior is, Po has an accident with some fireworks and lands in the middle of the event and is chosen by the Eldest Kung Fu master (a really cool turtle) to be the Dragon Warrior. The head of the Kung Fu school, a red panda(?) named Master Shifu, and the Furious Five are outraged that a fat, no-talent clumsy Panda is chosen to be the Dragon Warrior when they had trained all their lives for the honor.

But Po puts his considerable heart (and girth) into the task and never gives up, even though Shifu constantly tries to get him to quit and he is constantly ostricized by his heroes. Eventually he wins over Shifu, who learns the secret to teaching Po Kung Fu, and Po becomes an unlikely hero by using his greatest weaknesses as his greatest strengths.

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I had some good comedic moments, a decent plot, and some heart to it. The action sequences were funny, engrossing, and kept you interested. The humor fortunatly wasn't as "childish" as I was expecting it to be (especially considering Jack Black was the voice of Po) and worked on a variety of levels. The animation was crisp, colorful, and well done and looked more like a real cartoon than a CGI movie (which I appreciated). The voice talent was very well done, especially some great performances by Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman (who voiced Shifu... who knew? I didn't until I saw the closing credits). Although there was a ton of star power in the voice cast... it was really underused and pretty much just there to add to the box office draw. Angelina Jolee (Tigress), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Lucy Lui (Viper... ironic Kill Bill reference), and David Cross (Crane) all had about 5 to 10 lines in the movie (not counting various martial art "Whahhhahoooo" sounds). They could have easily been replaced with pretty much anyone and you wouldn't have noticed a difference.

I really did enjoy this movie and although it was a cartoon aimed at kids, it never felt like a "kiddie" movie and never felt like my intelligence was being insulted. It had a good, solid plot for a martial art/lovable loser who makes good movie and had a good message with some heart to it. As a comedy it was funny, but not hilarious. As an action movie it was entertaining, but not very exciting, but it works on a level all its own.

So I would suggest going out and seeing it before it leaves the theaters. If you missed it, it makes an excellent rental choice for the whole family. If you are a Jack Black, Kung Fu movie, or Family cartoon fan, then I would definitly suggest buying it when it comes out on dvd. I give Kung Fu Panda a 6 out of 10. A good, solid, enjoyable movie, but nothing truly exceptional.

Current Mood: creative
Monday, June 16th, 2008
5:22 pm
[rodshark]
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The fourth and probably last installment of the Indiana Jones movies (although there might be spinoff movies, but more on that later).

I'm not exactly sure how to feel about this movie to be honest. Some parts of it are classic Indiana Jones fare and definitly recaptures the magic. Other parts are obviously signs of both Lucas and Speilburgs advanced symptoms of "Lucas Syndrom".

The movie follows an older, wiser, sadder, but still spry Indiana Jones as he meets a young greaser named "Mutt" whose father (one of Indiana's older collegues) had been kidnapped whilst searching for a lost Incan city and a mysterious crystal skull with mysterious powers. Of course being the 50's the Ruskies are the main bad guys and want to get the skull and find the hidden city for themselves to use it's power to win the cold war. Eventually they find the lost professor, discover where the city is, and race/battle the russians to get there first and discover the secret of the crystal skull and save the day.

That is the plot in a nutshell.

Overall, I felt that this was an enjoyable movie if you could get past certain aspects of it and tried not to think about it too much. The plot was more like Temple of Doom more than Raiders or Last Crusade, which I thought was unfortunate. The plot had a bunch of unpleasant, cheesy (not in a good way) elements in it and suffered from a plot that seemed to have a lot of holes, logic gaps, and silly situations. Of course, the previous Indiana Jones movies had a lot of the same problems, but the strength of Harrisons acting and the appealing realism of the Jones character always gave it a grounded sense of reality and stability no matter how preposterous the situation. In this movie however, Indy has to share the spotlight to a degree with a "partner" instead of a sidekick. So the added mass of a partner AND two kind of annoying sidekicks does hamper the movie somewhat since the real star of the movie (Indiana) doesn't get to shine as brightly.

The acting was fairly well done, with Harrison Ford having some fun reprising an older Indy and Cate Blanchette does a decent job as the evil russian arch-nemesis. Sleepy LaBeef did a decent job as well, but really he had a lot working against him. He is a decent actor in big sci-fi movies with lower grade actors (I'm looking at you Keanu). But compared to Ford and Blanchette, he kinda looks a bit amatuerish. John Hurt is an incredible actor, but unfortunatly throughout the entire movie he is pretty much a gibbering idiot... which is a shameful waste of such a great talent. Karen Allen reprises her role as well of Marion Ravenwood Williams, but instead of being the strong, defiant character like she was in Raiders, she was relegated to the nagging, doting mother to LaBeefs "Mutt" character. Stll, she does have a couple of moments in which she did shine and I am really happy that they made her look like a REAL mother with a few extra pounds and showing some age instead of being a 100lb 55 year old supermodel or something really idiotic like that.

The special effects weren't anything special. Most of them seemed a little out of place and cheesy and no where near the level of skill you would expect from Industrial Light and Magic. Fortunatly, Indiana Jones movies aren't about special effects, they are about adventure and humor, and this film does have a bit of both.

Still despite some plot problems, some very painful and cringe inducing scenes (atomic bombs, vine swinging, and monkeys), I think the movie still manages to capture a great deal of the old "Indiana Jones" magic and provide a couple of hours of entertainment. There are several good "Indy" moments in the movie and some decent comedy.

The worst of the Indiana Jones movies, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is still a pretty good way to spend a couple of hours as long as you don't try to overanalyze it too much. Decent acting and action save the movie from a mediocre b-movie plot, poor special effects, and the debilitating effects of Lucas Syndrome. I give it a 6 out of 10. Decent rental fare and if you are a fan or collector of the series, then worth buying the DVD.

Hopefully this will be the last Indiana Jones movie since I think that anything more will destroy the franchise. Of course I have a feeling that they will probably try to market Sleepy LaBeef and Short Round from Temple to do a "buddy action/adventure archeologist" movie something like "Mutt and Short Round; The legendary adventures" or something.
Monday, May 19th, 2008
9:13 pm
[rodshark]
I am Iron Man
Well, no actually I am not. But I did go see the movie yesterday.

I really enjoyed this movie. From the opening chords to AC/DC's "Back in Black", to the opening chords to Black Sabbaths "Iron Man" during the credits, the movie was a fun, well-paced rollercoaster ride.

I never really followed the comic book at all, and wasn't all that familiar with the character. But the movie does such a good job establishing who Tony Stark is, you really don't need to. The exposition is handled through mostly showing instead of telling and you get a real feel for the womanizing, alcoholic, self-centered, self-absorbed, arrogant, egotistical, but charming and utterly likeable jerk that Tony Stark is before he is captured by terrorists and turns his life around after escaping and becomes Iron Man.

Spoilery bits after the cut
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But I digress, The special effects were very well done and believable. The acting was very good, the score was awesome, and it was a fun enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours and a worthy edition to the list of Good superhero movies. I will definitly be buying it when it comes out on video. 8 out of 10.

Current Mood: ecstatic
Friday, February 22nd, 2008
10:48 pm
[rodshark]
Beatdown- Fists of Vengence
Or as I refer to it as "River City Ransom: The Next Generation".

I bought this game at Gamestop for a steal $5.99. It is in almost perfect condition, the original box and instruction booklet. Never really heard of the game before, but it seemed pretty cool from the box and at that price, hey why not?

Probably the best damn $6 bucks I ever spent in my life (which has promptly went bye bye as I have played this game almost 18 hours in the past 48 or so).

The game follows the story of 5 low level mobsters who get set up to take a fall during a drug deal. Your character manages to escape the ambush and must lay low, find allies and cash and fight, interrogate, and survive long enough to find out what happened.

To do that your character must hunt down various people within the city and fight or bribe them into giving you information or joining your gang. Each of the hundred or so people you can recruit, rob, interrogate, or even beat to a dead bloody pulp have various fighting styles (like boxing, wrestling, martial arts etc.) or skills like Lockpicking and Car Theft that you can use for the missions or sub-missions/Jobs you get.

The fighting system in this game is divided up into two parts. Group fighting in which you and up to two allies can beat up low level punks, mobsters, citizens, or even cops in a free roaming free for all. After all the opponents in an area are defeated, you can loot their unconscious bodies for cash, weapons, or other items. In One on One combat, it is you vs a named character who you can do the above paragraph to. Once you've beaten an opponents Pride meter down you can attempt to recruit, rob, or interrogate them.

Of course all this fighting doesn't go unnoticed. You have a recognition meter in the top corner of the screen which shows how recognized you are among either cops or mafia. If it is 100% in either or both of these, then mobsters or cops respectively will attack you on sight in a group battle.

Fortunatly, you can disguise yourself and lower the percentage to be recognized by buying different clothing and accessories in a variety of stores, getting a haircut/coloring, even get tattoos or plastic surgery to change your characters face slightly. The customization options are really impressive and fun. Especially with the female characters you can choose to play as. Naughty clothing abounds in the game after you unlock various store items through interrogating certain individuals throughout the game.

The whole feel of this game really reminds me of one of my favorite NES games growing up, River City Ransom. The intergang fighting to collect money to use in shops. The weapons, and general feel of the game is very reminiscient of it in a very good way.

Beatdown- Fists of Vengence is a very fun, VERY underrated and underappreciated game. Somehow in the age of Halo, GTA, and similar games, the fun "beat em" game Genre like Double Dragon and Final Fight has been unfortunatly ignored.

The Good
-Huge selection of customization options for your character
-Decent Replay value as the info, money, and character list from a previous game are available for a new character in a new game.
-A decent (if slightly overused) plot
-Fun and easy to use fight system.
-Has a very fun, violent, bloody attitude to the game.
-Real time damage and injuries show up as you fight. Bloody noses, bruises, cuts, etc. all appear on you or your opponents bodys as you fight and stay there till you get healed.

The Bad
-Repetive music
-Camera Angles go a bith wonky sometimes and makes things difficult to see. This is especially bad when trying to cross some of the busy streets in town and get hit by cars.
-The game is a bit on the short side.
-load times are a bit long in some places.
-The various play areas are fairly small. A bigger more complete city with a larger variety of shops, stores, and products would have been awesome.

I give this game a 8 out of 10. Very fun, very addictive, and a fine successor to the River City Ransom/Double Dragon beat em up genre. I think it is so sad that a great game like this got looked over and mostly ignored. My recomendation is as a definite rental and if you can find it somewhere for a steal... get it.

Current Mood: nostalgic
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
12:00 am
[rodshark]
Epica
Thanks to sofisticat for introducing me to this incredible band. Their sound can be described as "Gothic Metal Symphony". Their lead singer Simone Simons, in addition to being one of the most incredibly beautiful women I have ever seen... almost perfection in my opinion, she also has one of the most incredible voices I have ever heard as well. Her vocals are powerful, yet beautiful and haunting at the same time. Combine this talent with a style that can span (sometimes in a single song- see below), the entire spectrum from symphonic to almost acid metal. This fusion of symphonic background music and lead vocals, with heavier, metal guitar riffs and background vocals is a really good trend in my opinion. Until a month ago, I had never even heard of this band... now I have three of their cd's in my Amazon cart.
But I will let their music, and pictures of Simone Simons do the selling of their band for me.



And now some pics of the lovely and talented Simone Simons




Current Mood: impressed
Saturday, January 19th, 2008
10:22 pm
[rodshark]
Soul Caliber 2
I bought this game for the X-box yesterday. I love Gamestop, it's just like renting, except that you actually get to KEEP the games you like.

But this isn't a review of the Gamestop store, it's about the Xbox game Soul Caliber 2.

Well, admittedly, this game had rather large boots to fill. The original game in the series Soul Edge is one of my favorite fighting games for the Playstation. It had one of the most awesome intros in any game EVAR! But, it was also a really great, fun fighting game, so I had high hopes for the third game in the series, even though I have never played the prequel to this game Soul Caliber.

Well, after playing this game, it lived up to it's predecessor admirably. The graphics were clear and sharp. The sound and voices were fairly well done, and the controls were fairly good, intuitive, and responsive... much like they were for the first game of the series.

The Arcade mode was interesting, if a bit repetitive after a while, but at least you have a nice array of characters to choose from with a wide variety of fighting styles and weapons.
All the traditional archtypes are included; The Samurai, Staff, 2-handed sword, sword/shield, nunchucks, fencing, tonfa blades, dual swords, and battle axe.

Fortunatly, this game also has several other game modes, including Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle, and Weapon Master.

Weapon Master mode is where you take a character (which is changable at will as you go through the various areas) and go from area to area fighting enemies in battles. These battles have a vast variety of stipulations or circumstances in which the player has to use or avoid in order to win the match and move on with the story. Some of these include, defeating several opponents in succession, within a certain time limit, knocking them into the walls, while poisoned or low on health, etc. When you win in that match you gain some experience points (not sure what they are for yet besides moving up in title in the game), and money which you can use to buy various weapons for certain characters to wield and other unlockable things within the game (such as new costumes and galleries).

To play in all these game modes, the game has included the somewhat familiar cast of characters of the Soul Blade universe. In addition to these is an Xbox exclusive character Spawn from the Dark Horse studios comic. He was an interesting and cool addition to the mix, for some reason weilding a Battle Axe formed from his cape, Personlly I think he should have had twin chains or Gauntlet weapons like the character Voldo has. My only complaint is that Spawn has an almost "thrown in there" feel and his plot device is very weak at best.

Speaking of Voldo, the recurring character from the first game... *shudder* he still creeps me the fuck out. A rail thin, zombie in pseudo-bondage attire, with straps over his eyes and mouth, moving in this bizarre undulating, creepy way and using a weird as hell fighting style using two Kataars (fist daggers), he is a damn creepy character.

The plot is pretty weak naturally. Fighting games aren't known for their elaborate and in-depth plots. Basically it revolves around a bunch of warriors from all over the world seeking a mystical, and utterly evil blade to either destroy it or claim it for themselves or their master.

All in all, Soul Caliber 2 is a very enjoyable and fun fighting game that provides hours of entertainment and a variety of options and unlockables. It isn't too difficult, but provides a good challenge for most fighting game veterens. My only real complain is the lack of an actual real plot and the endings of the various characters is rather lame to a degree (although to be fair, the endings for the harder difficulty settings might be better, right now I am playing on Medium).

I give this game a 6 out of 10. A decent rental or bargain bin purchase (I paid $6 for it), but unless you are a huge fan of the series and want to collect it, it isn't a MUST BUY

Definitly fun way to kill a couple hours though.
Friday, January 11th, 2008
10:22 pm
[rodshark]
Conan the Barbarian... the Xbox 360 game.
I got addicted to this game while at a friends house last weekend. Hell I didn't even know that this game EXISTED! I knew that they were coming out with a Conan universe MMORPG sometime soon called "The Hyborian Age", but I didn't know that they made an action arcade game as well.

Conan the Barbarian the video game is loosely based around some of the plots, adventures, and people found in the original Robert Howard "Conan" novels. The plot of the game is basically that while Conan was trying to steal a treasure sealed in a temple, he unleashes a demonic plague called "The Black Death". Part of it attached itself to the armor he was wearing at the time and was flung across the world. Conan awakens later only in a loincloth and wielding his trusty Atlantean sword. He meets up with an attractive Pirate captain and sets out to recover the armor and defeat the Black Death. Fairly decent plot-wise for a sword and sorcery Conan adventure and fairly true to the original novels.

The next thing that you notice about the game is the incredible visuals. This game REALLY captures the essence of the Conan univese from the brigands, primitives, and creatures you have to fight, to the temples and other exotic locals, to the almost naked wenches chained to the walls that you have to occassionally rescue. This game in one of the best representations of the Conan world and captures the feel and look of the land like nothing else I have seen.
This game is visually to the Conan world what the Lord of the Rings movies were visually to the Tolkien world. From naked women, to chopped off limbs, heads, and legs, to the stunning locations... this game was a visual feast in all it's brutal, primal, gory glory.

Gameplay is fairly straightforward, but still has some interesting twists. Conan is controlled with the left thumbstick, while the right thumbstick looks around. The button layout was fairly well thought out with the one exception that the button to throw your weapon is extremly close to the button you use to interact with items. So you occassionally find yourself throwing your weapon instead of guzzling the jug of wine that acts like a healing potion. Attacks are performed by using either the X button (light attacks) or the Y button (heavy attacks). As Conan gains experience, he can use that to buy special manuevers with either single weapon fighting, two weapon fighting, hand to hand fighting, weapon shield fighting, or two handed weapon fighting. Each weapon fighting style has its own advantages and disadvantages. The big two handed weapons are good for taking out big creatures like apes and dragons. Using two weapons is good for making a lot of fast, but weak attacks... perfect for when you are fighting a large group of weak enemies. These special attacks are performed by pushing button combinations like XXYY or XYB. The moves are fairly spectacular looking and there is a surprising amount of variety to the kinds of moves you can do.

Throughout the game, you have to use Conans strength to do feats such as open large heavy doors, knock over pillars, turn cranks, etc. These tasks are performed with a wide variety of button and joystick movements that have to be done in sequence. It adds variety to the hectic "Hack and Slash" nature of the game. Another cool little innovative thing that they included in the game is torches. You can grab a torch out of a campfire or other source and use it to set huts on fire, set animals or enemies on fire or burn flamable objects to get to new places. Its a really visually interesting feature, especially if you throw the torch at an enemy and cause them to burst into flames. Apparently the concept of "Stop, Drop. and Roll." is unknown in these lands *lol*

While everyone else had already went to bed, I spent several hours playing this game. It is very fun and very addictive. It's like you are the star of your own Conan movie... only with much better voice acting *lol*.

Overall I would give this game a 8 out of 10. It was A LOT of fun, had some interesting innovations, was visually beautiful, and had a fairly decent plot. The only bad parts of the game is that it is very linear... don't expect to explore very much. And once you play through the game, there isn't much replay value to it except to try and defeat the game on ever increasingly frustrating difficulty levels. Still, it is a fun way to let off some steam chopping enemies into little bits playing a rampaging Cimmerian blademaster...

For fans of the Conan universe (like myself) it is a must buy. No other game so perfectly captures the look and feel of that world. For the casual gamer... it is solid rental fare and a very fun game to try out.

Current Mood: Barbarous
Wednesday, December 12th, 2007
12:30 am
[rodshark]
Music Review- Hellraiser
This time with Videos!!

I have two different versions of this song that I am giving my 2 pennies on...

First up is the Motorhead version of this song.



Next up is the Ozzy Ozbourn version of this song. (no actual "video" but at least it plays the song).


Okay, now that you have had a chance to compare both versions of the song, here are my thoughts on them.

The Motorhead version of the song, while not as "clean" sounding as the Ozzy version, has a much harder, heavier quality to it. And I think the crackly, hoarse, gritty way that Lemmy sings it actually makes the song seem a bit rougher, which is perfect when taken in the context for the Hellraiser movie series. This is the definitive version for Industrial Metal fanatics and for Motorhead fans in general.

The Ozzy version is a much cleaner, clearer, and tighter version of the song. And with Ozzies haunting vocals and persona, it makes the song etheral and menacing to a degree, which is also perfect for the Hellraiser movies. This is the definitive version for most classic metalheads and fans of Ozzy. I also think that the common metal or music fan would prefer this rendition over the Motorhead version due to the musically cleaner and clearer quality it has.

Personally, I love both versions, but the Motorhead one wins out for me. For one, it actually has a really awesome music video that features Lemmy interacting with Pinhead and scenes from the actual movie being shown on it, while I have yet to see a video depicting an Ozzy/Pinhead interaction. So Lemmy and Co. gain cool points just for that (and the fact that is shows a teasingly tantalizing piece of one of my favorite scenes from Hellraiser 3).

-Plus Lemmy is a rock god that gods look up to, period. Ozzy lost his edge years ago.

Current Mood: Heavy Metally!!
Sunday, December 9th, 2007
1:19 pm
[rodshark]
Shrek the 3rd
I originally wanted to see this movie in the theater. But due to money and life issues interfering, I had to wait until it came out on video to rent. So I rented it last night.

And boy am I ever glad I didn't go to the theater and see it.

I don't know which critics thought "this is the best Shrek so far", but I heartily disagree.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Shrek movies. The first Shrek is among one of my favorite movies of all time. What made the first one so great was the fact that it took traditional fairy tales and parodied them in a very hilarious, but oft times poinant way. The message of a large, brutish, monstrous Ogre trying to overcome being an outcast, and his own fear of rejection and hatred to find and win true love and a happily ever after really struck a cord with me.
The second Shrek wasn't nearly as funny as the first, but it still had some great comedic moments thanks to the edition of Puss N Boots and the ever awesome John Cleese as King Harold.
It was more of "fish out of water"/"Meet the parents" type of story, and though it had a decent message... I think those kinds of storylines had been done to death, luckily I think the pulled it off remarkably well using the Shrek universe.

The third installment of the series... well it wasn't bad, but it wasn't all that great either. It had a good message and story to it, about the outcasts and losers of society trying to fit in. That what other people think doesn't matter, its wheat you think of yourself, that women can kick just as much ass as the men, and the fear of responsibility (fatherhood and leadership).

The problem was... it just wasn't funny. The things that they wanted to be funny (the whole "King Shrek", "Shrek Fatherhood Nightmare", and the "Medieval High" scenes), just weren't funny. Sadly amusing is as bout the best they got. The whole Pss/Donkey swap part was also a bit dumb and a really overused clich'e. I also thought that almost all the "main" characters (with the exception of Shrek and Fiona) were unlikable and I just couldn't get behind them. All the princesses were annoying (although the battle scene was enjoyable... especiall the Snow White- Immigrant Song attack sequence), and the character of "Artie" and the whole "King Arthur" spoof was very, VERY annoying.

But all in all, it was a mostly enjoyable movie... it could have been ALOT funnier and ALOT less annoying in places, but it is far from the worst movie ever made... simply the worst Shrek movie ever made. I give it a 5 out of 10- Decent rental fair, but don't buy it unless youm want to complete your Shrek movie collection.

I'm sure that a fourth Shrek movie is already in the works... probably a spoof of all the "New Father" cliche's. After this one, I don't think another Shrek movie really needs to be made, but I guess they'll milk this francise cow until it runs dry.

Current Mood: tired
Sunday, October 28th, 2007
10:40 pm
[rodshark]
Dungeon Lords- Collectors edition
I just bought this game yesterday... and I am about ready to throw it in the garbage. Well, at least it is only $10 down the drain.

At first glance, this game seems okay enough. The graphics are slightly more impressive than Morrowind's were. And it uses a point system for character advancement, allowing characters to multi-task and not just be one trick ponies. And it actually had a revive button that let you revive the character at the cost of an attribute point and some experience, should they meet an unfortunate end. And I did like the way they used for a character to pick locks and disarm traps by playing a sort of mini-game.

But thats about the last nice thing I have to say about this game. The controls were horrible. I was constantly fighting with the camera angle and movement. Transitions (such as going through a door, climbing a ladder, or swimming) was choppy, poorly done, and awkward.

The plot, if you can call it a plot, was simplistic tripe from any starting Dungeon Masters adventure. The whole game is pretty much an annoying, overly simplistic designed, maddenly frustrating in play (trying to find keys to doors is next to impossible), hack and slash dungeon crawl... but not in a good way.

Things that should have been complicated (like plot, dialog, and customization options) were overly simplistic, and things that should have been simplistic (finding keys, moving from one area to another, and fighting enemies) was overly complicated and frustrating.

I give it a 2 out of 10. DON'T buy this game! I wish I would have bought the Diablo 2 game instead. Oh well. Maybe I can get some sucker on e-bay to buy it.

Current Mood: frustrated
Friday, October 26th, 2007
11:19 pm
[rodshark]
Conan the Barbarian
When people think of this movie, they think of Arnold Schwarzenegger running around in a loin cloth, having sex with women, chopping peoples heads off, and mangling the english language almost as bad as his enemies. Kinda sounds like the last election in California.

But if you take a few moments to actually look past the blood, violence, and sex and see the underlying story and mythos. You will see a story about overcoming adversity, finding ones place in the world, and, even true love.

"Between the times when the oceans drank Atlantis,
And the rise of the suns of Aryas,
There was an age undreamed of;
And onto this, Conan, destined to bear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia
upon a troubled brow.
It is I, his chronicler,
who alone can tell thee of his saga.
Now, let me tell you of the days of high adventure."

(quite possibly the coolest intro ever in any movie)

Some spoilerage for people who haven't seen the movie yet.
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So the next time you see the movie Conan the Barbarian on the rental shelf, or available for $9.99 in the bargain bin, or coming up next on HBO or Cinemax... take a moment to watch the movie and look beneath Ahnuld, the violence and gore, some occasional bad acting and swordplay from bodybuilders and see a movie that is close to being on the same level (IMO) as Lord of the Rings. I leave you now with some more classic quotes from the movie.

"For no one, No one in this world can you trust. Not Men. Not Women. Not Beasts. *points to his sword* This you can trust."

Mongol General: "Conan, what is best in life?"
Conan: "To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentation of the women."
Mongol General:"Yes, that is good."

Conan: "Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought. Or why we died. No, All that matters is that two stood against many, thats what is important. Valor pleases you Crom, so I ask one request, grant me revenge. And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!"

Current Mood: amused
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