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Archive for April, 2009

DVD of the Day #120 - Slaughter

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Finally. I am FINALLY done with the “Eight Films to Die For!” Thankfully Slaughter wasn’t as bad as most of the other films, but it still wasn’t very good. It’s another psychotic inbreeding hilbilly film though. This time its Southerners instead of Australians though.

Enter Faith - a sweet girl who has moved to the south to escape her abusive ex boyfriend. One night at a bar she meets a young lady named Lola who she strikes up a friendship with. When the ex starts to close in on her, Faith moves in with Lola onto the family farm where they raise pigs, ride horses and occasionally stumble across the remains of a dead body. We soon learn that Lola and her father do not get along and sometimes, Lola is beaten by her father. With the signs of foul play on the farm, Faith thinks that Lola’s family are derranged killers and decided to run away with Lola to save her.

Well it turns out Lola is the psycho killer and her dad smacks her around after finding the latest dead body. He covers for his daughter because he loves her, but still, if spilling grape juice on a white carpet is spank worthy, certaining killing people for their money and cars is worth a bitchslap and a black eye, right? Oh, also Lola claims she went psycho because dady is a pedophile and has naughty picture of young pre-pubescant Lola.

Lola’s plan is now to kill Faith and assume her identity. Oh, and to kill her whole family too so there are no traces back to her previous life. Not a bad plan for an underage would-be redneck.

At this time Faith’s ex boyfriend Jimmy, you know the guy who used to abuse her, finally tracks her down to the farm and now Faith is torn between TWO psychos. One that wants to fuck her and one that wants to be her. Poor Faith.

The movie has some decent acting and there are a few neat twists and turns to the story, but nothing that makes the movie stand out. it was enjoyable for what it was, but at the end of the day, it was a one shot viewing experience rather than a keeper.

IS It Worth Keeping? No
Rating: 5/10

Import Review #273

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky
Developer: Chunsoft
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Roguelike
Release Date: 04/18/2009

Although readers here at Diehard GameFAN are probably not aware of this, this is actually my third review of this game. I’ve reviewed it for a publication across the ocean as well for an upcoming issue of Beckett’s Pokemon Collector Magazine. Now it’s time to write about it here where I have unlimited room to jibber jabber.

This is the fifth Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game released by Chunsoft, although it’s still only the second game in the series, storywise. The first two games were released simultaneously for the Game Boy Advance and DS. I reviewed Red Rescue and Blue Rescue back in 2006. The GBA version went on to win our “Best Turn Based RPG” and our “GBA Game of the Year” awards. In late April of 2008, Mark and I reviewed Explorers of Darkness and Explorers of Time respectively. Although we both felt these games were an improvement over the last generation of PMD, neither went on to win any awards. (It was a nominee for “Best DS game” and “Best RPG” though.)

Now a year later, here I sit with ポケモン不思議のダンジョン 空の探検隊 AKA Pokémon Fushigi no Dungeon Sora no Tankentai AKA Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky. This time around, PMD is getting the Pokemon Platinum treatment. That is to say, we’re getting a remix rather than a whole new game. PMD:EotS features an expanded story, more dungeons, more items, more questions, and some Pokemon that weren’t in the previous games, along with Giratina’s origin forme (The game doesn’t feature Rotom’s new formes however). For those of you looking for a whole new chapter or who don’t understand why people like Crystal, Yellow, or Platinum, this is almost certainly a pass for you. But what about those games who enjoy the PMD games better than the core turn-based RPG’s, or those who just enjoy a good Fushigi Dungeon?

This is where I insert my usual commentary about how I draw two different Pokemon related paychecks for the sake of full disclosure. On one hand, you are more than welcome to take this review with a grain of salt and a bit of skepticism. On the other hand, it means I get Pokemon games before most of the Japanese press and can spend a large amount of time with the game, thus giving you, our audience, a more in-depth review (and without having to translate Famitsu and other publications). One final but important note. Although the translations used on various Pokemon fan sites are not 100% correct I will be using them for the purpose of this review in case any of you decide to look for a walkthrough, FAQ, or the like. I will also add that when EotS hits Stateside, several names in the official localization will be different from these fan translations. Finally, I’ve added some new screenshots of the game. If you have a Pokemon fansite, feel free to use them. Now, let’s explore Explorers of the Sky!
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Middle O’ the week!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Okay. Intertesting week. I’ve reviewed Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky three bloody times this week. Oy. Life would be so much easier if I could write the same article for multiple places ala the AP.

Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 comes out tomorrow. Only for the PS3 though. Sure it’s only a demo, but it’s six characters with online play. Can’t beat that for free.

I’m really liking the whole work from home on Thursdays and Fridays thing. It works out well for me.

Got a call from an old friends with benefits last night. The highlight of the conversation was “Yeah, I’m seeing this guys but there’s no long term future in it. You want to come over tonight?”
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DVD of the Day #119 - Perkins’ 14

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

When I first saw the list of the “Eight Films to Die For,” Perkins’ 14 was the most interesting to me synopsis wise. The plot is quite unique. Ten years ago a serial killer kidnapped and murdered 14 children in a tiny little town and then disappeared never to be caught.

UNTIL TODAY.

Ten years to the day the killer is brought in on a routine traffice violation, and the chief of police realizes who he is! With the help of another cop, they break into Perkins’ house only to find video tapes of torture, abuse, brainwashing and experimentation. The chief of Police, whose son was one of these kids shoots Perkins in the head right there, killing him instantly. Which is too bad, because it turns out Perkins’ never killed the kids. Instead with a hearty training regiment and a steady diet of PCP and steroids, he turned the kids into ruthless savage emotionless killing machines who will slaughter anything they see except their master…who is now quite dead. Because the cops broke in, the 14 are able to escape into the night and begin commiting genocide. Whoops.

This is an interesting plot, basically featuring psychological zombies, but everything falls apart the second you take the story off paper. For one thing, this film is horribly acted. I mean horrible. Not a single actor is beliveable or even has a glimmer of medocrity. It’s like the movie was filmed using only friends and relatives.

Second, the plot is god awful and every character makes decisions so stupid on a consistent basis you would think everyone in the film was related to pre-island John Locke. The chief of police, who is also the main character, is the worst of the group, as his stupidity defies all odds. Before the release of the 14 he was still obsessed with the “death” of his son, to the point where he neglected his wife, daughter and friends. Then when it turns out he is alive, he goes out of his way to try and “save” his son, to the point where he gets his wife killed and even shoots one of his fellow officers dead so he doesn’t kill his boy. Thankfully he finally gets killed when he tries to hug his son, who has just finished murdering everyone but his daughter…and gets his neck snapped. What a fucking tool. What fucking awful characters.

This is a movie best left on the shelf or better yet, to be forgotten by all who ever heard its name. This ended up tying with Dying Breed for the worst movie of the eight.

Is It Worth Keeping? No.
Rating:2/10

Links For You, Kids

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Interview with Ignition Entertainment about the upcoming King of Fighters XII. We all know I’ll be reviewing it, so enjoy my Q&A session where I’m actually a bit rough on my beloved franchise.

Also, Vlad got his first review in! Huzzah!

DVD of the Day #118 - Voices

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

At least this year’s Horrorfest was pretty international, no? You don’t see a lot of K-Horror. It’s generally Japanese, with a little bit of Thai and Hong Kong thrown in as supplments. The only really strong or well known Korean horror film I can think of is A Tale of Two Sisters, so it is with mixed emotions that Voices is probably going to hold the #2 spot on the US scene.

Voices is a bit poorly translated and in fact this can be seen with just the title. The true literal translation of the film’s title is “Somebody’s Behind You.” As in “Look Out Behind You.” Because the subtitles are a bit off, the actual plot of the movie, and most importantly the explination, is lost in the shuffle. As such, I can’t really recommend this film unless you know Korean. It is worth watching as it is very well acted for an Asian horror film and there is a lot of eye candy for those of you with an Asian Schoolgirl fetish.

The plotbasically revolves around a young fencing champion who is at her Aunts wedding when said aunt plummets several floors to her near demise. Did she jump? Was she pushed by her husband to be? We never learn. Instead when the young bride is on life support at the hospital, the fencer ends up watching her aunt’s sister (AKA Aunt #2) disembowel the dying woman. One by one, people around her (both friends and family) become homicidal maniacs. Now however, the killing rage seems geared only at her rather than random people. Why is this young girl the focus? Why does everyone want to kill her? What is going on?

This is pretty much the whole film. Girl gets nearly killed by someone she knows. Girl cries and run. Girl nearly get killed by someone she knows. Girl cries and run. Repeat until everyone is dead. Throughout the film are given three different reasons as to why this may be occuring. Unfortunately the first two are merely swerves and we get the last one in the final ten to fifteen minutes of the film. Sadly, either through poor writing or translation, this ending doesn’t make much sense and you’re left wondering what the hell just happened at the end.

Although the ending is a huge huge HUGE letdown, the rest of the film is very strong and well done. You have a great and realistic cast that slowly goes bonkers and homicidal. You have a basic idea of what is going to happen, but never when or how exactly and it’s nice to see several swerves. It’s also the shortest of the Horrorfest films at a hair under 80 minutes. This might also be why it’s the second best of the bunch.

Although I don’t see myself keeping this film, it is worth seeing as the ending would be fun to banter about with others on. It’s also inspired me to look for other, better K-Horror, and in that respect Voices has done its job.

Is It Worth Keeping? On the fence
Rating: 5.5/10

Weekend Update

Monday, April 27th, 2009

What a fun weekend. 90 on Saturday and nearly 100 on Sunday. In April! Meanwhile my father called on Sunday and said it was 90 on Weds, but 39 on Sunday. Ouch.

I could have gone to Baniff with Kim Sqaturday, but I screwed up my dates. The whole being able to work from home kind of blends my days together. I thought Friday was Saturday and when she asked if I wanted to go with her Saturday my response was, “Sorry my car is being fixed.” Ah well. It would have been great to spend time with Kim, although getting back from Baniff to Sylvia in Fairfax would have been difficult…and something out of a bad 80’s sitcom.

Saturday night was fun. We went to VIlla Mozart, which was great. I had foie gras stuffed carpaccio and then a nice goat with asparagas and baby potatoes for the main dish. Sylvia had the caprese and the ravioli. I don’t think she enjoyed it as much as I did, but we did follow up with gelatto and ended up chatting until 11pm…in a place that closes at 9:30pm. Whoops. Another ah well. A really fun evening that ended with me coming home and watching my new Iron Chef DVD (The Shatner as kaga episodes) with Heather.

Sunday was great. I got in a seven mile run, 1,500 punches, another 3 mile walk, some reading in and I went out with Christina. I know, right? lots of juggling. We had fun, food and it was such a gorgeous day to be outside.

I’m in the office today and I like that I’m going in three days and working from home for two. It’s very relaxing and it makes me appreciate my time in the office and in DC proper when I’m here.

DVD of the Day #117 - The Broken

Monday, April 27th, 2009

A few days ago I mentioned how I couldn’t think of a single quality good horror film from Oceania. Only slightly less rare is a quality British made horror film. Sure there is 28 Days Later and Captain Kronus: Vampire Hunter, but really, what else is there?

The Broken stars Lena Heady aka Sarah Conner from the new Terminator TV series. Alas, I haven’t seen this show, but fans of it should just stick to watching her adventures against Skynet, because this was pretty damn boring.

Lena plays a British Radiologist who starts to see a duplicate of herself after a family dinner in which a large mirror shatters. Following her doppleganger, she ends up getting into a severe car accident and suffers a bit of memory loss. Although her own doppleganger appears to be gone, she now suspects that members of her family and her lover have been overtaken byt he dopplegangers themselves. Who is real, and who is an evil twin?

The problem with this film wasn’t the acting, which was decent for a made for DVD horror schlock. No the problem was the horrible special effects and the fact that the plot was trite and paint by numbers. You know exactly what is going to happen 15 minutes into the film and at no point do you think otherwise. There is no attempt at spicing up the plot of covering up the eventualities. It’s just 60 more minutes of the actors going through the motions until the inevitable. Really boring and sad. This could have easily been a Tales From the Darkside 30 minute bit rather than a 93 minute long waste of celluloid. As such the vast majority of this film is just padding and VERY BORING padding to boot. If you haven’t figured out the eventual plot by the end of reading this review even though I haven’t given it away directly, then I’m a bit saddened. Just avoid the film and remember that anyone within eyeshot of this review is a better writer than whoever wrote The Broken and its proof that British Horror producers will make just about anything into a film.

Is it Worth Keeping? No.
Rating 3/10

DVD of the Day #116 - Autopsy

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Hey Kids! Who wants to watch a movie about a bunch of drunken teenagers at Mardis Gras getting slowly picked off one by one by the T-1000 where he’s not a super liquid metal cyborg from the future but is instead a crazy doctor who has been harvesting organs to keep his wife alive?

Yeah, I didn’t think too many people were going to get excited about that premise. But for those of you who said yes, here’s Autopsy!

Wow, was this an unlikeable movie. Save for Robert Patrick, everyone else in the movie couldn’t act to save their lives. The plot is exceptionally stupid. A bunch of kids get into a car accident drinking and driving and it turns out they hit an escapee from the hopsital. An ambulance arrives to take the escapee back to the hospital and the group of college kids are forced to go with to make sure they aren’t injured.

Well, only one of them is injured at the start, with a two foot shard of glass wedged in his ribs that he somehow didn’t feel until he pulled it out, nor did it break between the accident and the walking around all over with it inside him. However, by the end of the film, all but one of the characters is dead, which is great since you’re actually rooting for the crazy doctor and his hospital which is manned by orderlies who are really murderous prison convicts. Whoops.

As you might expect it’s drunken and drug-addled teens vs evil hospital employees. Guess who wins? Not you, the viewer, that’s for sure.

I generally enjoy how Robert Patrick has taken his roles and the T-1000 and Fox Mulder’s replacement and rather flushed his carrer down the toilet so perfectly. He’ll do anything from this piece of crap to fighting John Cena in The Marine (A film I thankfully haven’t seen.) This is one of his worst films though, and it’s one we should all pretend doesn’t exists.

Is It Worth Keeping? No.
Rating: 3/10

DVD of the Day #115 - Dying Breed

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

As much as I love Australia and New Zealand, there is one universal truth - there is no such thing as a good horror movie from either country? Black Sheep? Awful. Dead Alive? So awful it’s hilarious. The Truth About Demons? Just plain sucks. So it’s no surprise that Dying Breed is fucktastically stupid and poorly made in nearly every way possible. The best thing about the movie is that it takes place is Tasmania which had me singing the Taz-Mania song all day. Then I became upset because Warner Bros. hasn’t released that cartoon on DVD yet. Those fuckers.

Down in Taz-mania! Come to Taz-Mania!

Seven years ago a zoologist died mysteriously trying to find the long since thought extinct Tasmanian Tiger. Her sister has been obsessed with completing her dying task and now has finally recieved a grant to hunt a species she believes to be alive un the forbidden bush of the outback. Together with her boyfriend, his college roommate and some girl he is shagging, the four set out in search of ANIMAL SCIENCE!

Down in Taz-Mania! Come to Taz-Mania!

Of course, the four never encounter the tiger, but they do instead encounter a cult of inbred hillbilly cannibals descendent from CRIMINALS. You know, like all of Australia. So now it’s four normal but slightly daft people vs a bunch of psychos who want to mate with the women and then eat the men. Oh, and they’ll eat the women after raping them, but they can’t eat and then rape. Where would they stick their genitals?

Down in Taz-Mania! Come to Taz-Mania!

Ugh. This film was awful in nearly every way possible. Bad acting, horrible special effects, a laughable plot and even crappy cinematography. There is absolutely no reason to sit through this thing. Run far far away.

Did I leave anything out?

Oh yeah, don’t forget Taz.

He put the Taz in Taz Mania! Down in Taz Mania! Come to Taz Mania!

WE MEAN YOU!

Wa-ba-ba-wa- pbbbt!

Is It Worth Keeping? NO.
Rating: 2/10