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Media Reviews
PSYCHONAUTS
Category: Media Reviews
Friday, February 17th, 2006 @ 05:38 pm
Posted By Brent

I finished Psychonauts last week and I only have one thing to say about this game: if you either have not played it, or you've played it and not liked it, elbow yourself in the sack. Now.

This is one of the best games I've ever played. I once read a review where someone said that it's the story and characters that make it such a great game but that its platformer gameplay is par for the course. I wish I could remember who said that so I could go to his house and kick his Mom in the mouth. Of course, I'm no "platformer expert," but holy shit, there was hardly a square inch of this game that wasn't original and totally awesome at the same time. At the same time.

There were a few downsides, but I found them completely forgivable. For one, the controls take a lot of getting used to. The walking and jumping crap is straight forward, but once it comes to using your powers I found myself forgetting which button does what and having a bit of difficulty pulling of the more involved powers while running or in intense situations, but I overcame these after a little bit of practice.

The other sore point was the couple of times I had to deal with platformer, pull your hair out, bullshit. You know the drill: Jump up here then dodge that then climb that then walk across that then fall. Lather, rinse, repeat. Like I said, it happened once, maybe twice, but I'm sure you've shared this aggravation before.

And Scott, we were both right and wrong, it hasn't - yet - come out for the PS2. While on the subject of what platforms it's available for, let me take this time to chastise the creative geniuses at Double Fine: you fucked up, this should have been a Gamecube game. You missed your demographic mark by a wide margin. The XBox is a console for shooters that happens to have driving sims and Madden. The PS2 is a console for Final Fantasy and its clones that happens to have driving sims and Madden. The Gamecube if for people who want to play fun and innovative games. Sure there's platformers for both like Ratchet and Shit and Jakk and Ballsack, but the only reason those do any well is because 9 out of every 10 video game commercials are for them.



5 Comments...

SERENITY
Category: Media Reviews
Monday, October 3rd, 2005 @ 12:52 pm
Posted By Brent

I never got to make a post about Firefly, so I guess I'll just smoosh the series and movie post into one.

Firefly was a short-lived sci fi show on Fox that took place in a wild-wild-west type futuristic setting, a lot like Cowboy Bebop with a bit more "old western" feel to it. It followed the diverse crew of a smuggling ship named Serenity as they tried to eke out a living and not kill each other. The major plot point that persisted in each episode involved the ship's doctor and his seventeen year old sister who had been experimented on by the obligatory big bad government entity, The Alliance, and their efforts to avoid recapture. The captain of the ship, or "boat" as they call them, is a veteran from the losing side of the Unification War which The Alliance started, and won, in order to unify all the planets in the system under one governmental body. And there's the pitch.

Other than seeing mentions on Slashdot and the like when the show was actually still on, I never paid it much attention. It wasn't until after it got cancelled after its eleventh episode and its vocal fan base started an uproar on the Internet that I took notice and got curious.

So after snagging the DVDs of the series off NetFlix and getting hooked by its originality and cleverness, I got retroactively pissed about the cancellation of a show I could have given two shits about when it was actually running. It doesn't help that they cancelled the damn thing right when it seemed things were going to get interesting.

With that being said, I went into the theater not wanting to see a "movie-ized" version of the show, but a two and a half hour long episode, and that's exactaly what I got. Due to this I can't really comment on how you'd like the movie if you never saw the show, but if you liked the show you'll be happier than a pig in shit.

Of course there's a lot more of what you'd call "closure" in the movie than in any episode, but that was to be expected and I don't think it was to any level that would damage any revival of the television series. On the other hand I doubt it will set the world on fire with its box office take so any future series is doubtful and I'm fine with that. That would add a bit more to its similarity with Cowboy Bebop: it had its brief run and closed shop up pretty tightly at the end giving the fans enough wiggle room to pine for some sort of follow up after it's all said and done.



2 Comments...

THE MACHINIST
Category: Media Reviews
Thursday, July 14th, 2005 @ 05:58 pm
Posted By Brent

I just wanted to pop on here and say something that's been eating at me since I watched this movie last night:

The Machinist is the kind of movie that David Lynch would make if David Lynch actually knew how to write a movie instead of a string of unrelated creepy encounters. I actually got really pissed off about halfway through the movie because I could taste the Lynch in the air. Too much crap happening with no explanation. To many odd coincidences that didn't really actually coincide with anything once you thought about them for long enough. To much self-referential crap that didn't reference anything except a reference you noticed earlier.

Then, BAM! The writer actually wrote an ending! That's right, when it was all said and done, it all made sense. You hear that David Lynch, you fucking hack? I could have a monkey write a 200 page script that is nothing but weird shit happening over and over if it never had to be tied together.

Now, this isn't to rag on people who like David Lynch. That would be like blaming the victim in a rape. Over a lifetime of conditioning by authors the likes of Kafka and Dahl, we have somehow been led to believe that if there are enough creepy non-sequiturs in a story then it's automatically good. No. It's not. It's a bunch of bullshit.

In conclusion, The Machinist is a pretty damn good movie and David Lynch is pretty good at pissing me off by making me wait for a resolution that I know will never come. But the lesbian action in Mulholland Drive was pretty awesome.



6 Comments...

CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
Category: Media Reviews
Wednesday, June 8th, 2005 @ 01:13 pm
Posted By Brent

Sometimes absolutes just don't cut it. Sometimes the blacks and whites that color your everyday decisions fade into a indistinguishable gray. I find myself contemplating this while on Netflix trying to decide how many stars I should give my latest viewing, Chronicles of Riddick.

Was it a well written movie full of expansive cinematography, acting of the highest caliber, heaped atop oscar-worthy writing? God no. Would I watch it and ten movies just like it back to back for hours on end? Hell yeah. Why, you ask? I don't know, maybe we men are biologically engineered to like action movies. When Scott first saw this movie he boiled it down to two words, and I'd have to agree with him. This movie is "tough porn." I'll allow you a few moments to completely digest that analogy... there.

Now for a rundown: this movie is bad. The antagonists of the movie are this traveling armada of doom called the Necromongers. Why not the Necromancers or the Necrophytes or the Necrocons? Who knows but the writers decided to go with a combination of the words "Necro" and "Mongoloid." Anyway, basically they are famous (or is that infamous) for coming to town and either killing everyone or converting them to their odd, ill described "death worship" religion.

So, one of the survivors from the previous movie lives on a planet that about to be invaded by the Necro-Tards, so he sends for Riddick to come and help. Riddick shows up, does a bunch of tough stuff, and everybody freaks out because he's apparently the last member of a race prophesied to kill the their leader. What race? Why, he's a Furion. Get it? It's like the word "Fury" with "on" put on the end of it! Genius!

Moving on, he escapes the clutches of the Death-Mongos by doing some more really tough stuff only to be captured by a band of mercenaries bent on collecting his bounty. After being captured he is taken to a prison planet where the surface burns at over 700 degrees! Guess what it's called! Burnia? Hotland? Planet Fire? No, don't sell the writers that short, it's called Crematoria! Get it? It's like "crematorium", with a "ia" on the end. Man, these guys really set the bar for creativity. Maybe they're from the planet Creativitia where they drink create-juice and dine on creationberries all from the luxury of their Create-a-Home. I bet it's awesome.

At this point he's in an underground prison where the inmates apparently are only required to mill around unsupervised and plot escape plans while randomly being attacked by big alien dogs that the guards set loose. Here, Riddick does some amazingly tough stuff and escapes, flies back to the original planet that was under attack and kills the leader. It was tough.

No matter how bad this sounds, just writing this makes me want to watch the movie again. I really can't put my finger on it, but between this movie and The Rundown, I just don't know what is going on with my love of crappy movies. Hollywood seems to have knocked it out of the park with their placement of racially ambiguous body builders in mid-budget, guilty pleasure action movies. Well Played.



3 Comments...

REVENGE OF THE SITH
Category: Media Reviews
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005 @ 09:36 am
Posted By Brent

Yes, there are spoilers in here. For all of you seeking every morsel of minutae that doesn't contain a "spoiler," you're already spoiling it for yourself so just give up now. Besides, it's been in the damn theater for a while now, if you're still so enamored with it that you're avoiding spoilers, you damn well should have seen it by now. Moving on.

Revenge of the Sith rocked. Hard. Not that it's completely with out fault, but I'd say it's up there with original three due mostly in part to it regaining the epic feel that propelled the original three movies to the levels of fame they acheived. This is also the same epic feel that Episodes one and two were completely devoid of.

While initially Anakin's turn to the dark side is pretty abrupt and sort of illogical, by the end it's sold really well (minus the "Noooooooooooooo!" scene) and completely believable. I'm still pretty unhappy with the kid who plays Anakin, but it is what it is and turned out pretty good in this one. This of course doesn't negate the fact that his acting is about as wooden as Pinnochio's ass. Now to turn completely around, I'll go ahead and be the first person to pay the movie a compliment regarding acting. Ewan McGreggor really was a younger Obi-Wan in this film, much much more so than in the previous two. Don't ask me to pin down why, he just was Obi-Wan to me in this one.



0 Comments...

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