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Archive for August, 2009

Oy. What a Day

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

At 9:45 I had my first dentist appointment in three years. Between all the travel with XSYS and CSC , I just never had time. I was a bit worried going into this due to the length. After all, I didn’t want to end up looking British. However the hygenist and the dentist both said I have some of the best teeth they’ve ever seen and that even witha three year break my teeth were in far better shape than most people who go every six months due to my home care and never missing brushing, flossing or using listerine. It was only an hour from showing up to leaving, which seemed really short for a first time visit and the first use of my Dental Insurance, but everything went swimmingly.

Then on the way home my overheating light in my car come on. This pissed me off because I brought my car in on Monday and have only driven 25-30 miles in the past three days. They agreed to look at it right away. The coolant is full, the fans are working and there’s pressure. They’re thinking it might be the water pump or thermostat but they were as at a loss as I was and it was obvious the car was overheating. So it looks like between the new brakes and this, August is going to be an expensive month for my car. Still, better it happening now than in 8 days when i go to pick up Guin or worse, driving her back here. Sheesh.

Now to write my Arkham Asylum review.

DVD of the Day #239 - Beyond Re-Animator

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

This is the third in the Re-Animator series. I really enjoyed the first one, and Brian Yunza generally makes films worth watching, if not keeping. BRA is no exception. This movie takes place 15 years or so after the second movie, with Dr. Herbert West (played by the awesome Jeffery Combs) in jail, having served 14 years for a prison sentence for his crimes against humanity and nature itself. The prison gains a new doctor, one Howard Phillips (ho ho ho) whose sister was the last victim of West’s re-animated experiments. Since that time Phillips has become obsessed with the idea of contuning West’s experiments and now he pulls a few strings to have West assist him in the hospital. In reality, the two continue and perfect their experiments until they find a way to keep the dead from going in sane after being brought back to life.

Of course, this being a Yunza horror film, nothing really goes according to plans and eventually the prison is crawling with some dead psychopaths with a penchance for flesh. Whoops. Well, that’s science for you.

The acting isn’t very good save for Combs, and you can see where the plot of the movie is going from the very beginning, but that shouldn’t surprise you. The film is gorey and quite violent, but there’s nothing that really makes it worth seeing past the one viewing. The first Re-Animator is hilariously camp and ahead of its time. This is just…a generic horror film with some nice violence and Jeffrey Combs.

Is it Worth Keeping? No.
Rating: 5/10

DVD of the Day #238 - strongbad_email.exe: the first hundred strong bad emails

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Yes, it is in all lower case and it annoys the hell out of me. Still, what an awesome unexpected find on Swapadvd.com. I like Strong Bad, but I’d never pay for the SB emails (Even though I paid for a T-shirt and a stuffed The Cheat) so when this showed up I grabbed it immediately.

Although it was a bit hard at times to watch 100 Strong Bad emails in a row, this collection has some memorable moments including:

* The first appearance of Homesar
* Stinkoman
* The origin of TROGDOR!
* Trevor the Vampire!
* The origins of TEEN GIRL SQUAD and more

The emails are pretty short and the entire set is only five hours long, even with 100 different emails, so you could finish these in a single “hang out with buds while drinking and laughing” session, although I’d personally get crazy restless before then. The quality of these range from short and boring, to incredibly hilarious and it’s interesting to see how Strong Bad has gone from a minor antagonist to the main character in the Homestar Runner world. This is definitely a keeper because, hey, when am I ever going to see it again, and it will be fun to bust out an email or three from time to time without having to watch it on my computer. Great fun for any Homestar Runner fan.

is it Worth Keeping? Yes
Rating: 6.5/10

Review #301

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Double Helix
Genre: Run N’ Gun Shooter
Release Date: 08/04/2009

It’s G.I. Joe against Cobra and Destro;
Fighting to save the day!
They never give up!
They’re always there;
Fighting for freedom
O’er land and air!

I love G.I. Joe. I love Larry Hama’s 150 issue run on G.I. Joe with Marvel Comics. I rooted for Sgt. Slaughter at Wrestlemania VII because obviously he was the good guy and not Hulk Hogan. I’m going up to Salem, MA for Halloween this year with a cartoon perfect costume of Cobra Commander, with both hood and helmet. I own Shout! Factory’s 17 DVD collector’s edition of the cartoon. I used to work for Hasbro. So it probably comes as no surprise that I LOATHED the movie in pretty much every way possible. It probably WILL come as a surprise though that I strongly preferred the much maligned video game tie-in because. This is because the plot, characterization and overall feel of the game (save for the visuals) were patterned after the Hama Joes and the cartoon. It also featured actual Joe and Cobra vehicles ranging from the Trouble Bubble and Cobra Night Raven to the Snow Cat and the Armadillo. It’s little things like this that made the 7 year old in my squeal with delight while the 32 year old in me wanted to swear like a sailor at the camera, aiming and vehicle driving bits.
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DVD of the Day #237 - Tales From the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Wow, this was kind of shit. Dennis Miller can’t act and Angie Everhart, while hot, is even worse. I still can’t hear Cryptkeeper without hearing Buster Bunny first but hey, at least he is only in it for four minutes.

Here’s the plot. A midget brings Lilith, queen of the vampires back to life. However, she’s got this weird tounge thing going on and isn’t like any other vampire I’ve ever seen before. Cephaolopic tongue? Ew, no thanks. Anyway, she is used by a TV Reverand to eat sinners, but eventually she takes control. At the same time, Cory Feldman gets eaten by the vampires and his sister hires a shifty private dick (Miller) to look for him. Eventually miller discovers the Church-Vampire conspiracy and has to take them down.

Although the TV show was a nice mix of horror and comedy, this is just stupid shit across the board. Miller just doesn’t work as an actor and isn’t funny in the slightest here. He just kills the move with his monotone stilted delivery and this was a chore to get through. I can’t believe that someone managed to make vampire whores boring. Definitely avoid this clunker.

is it Worth keeping? No.
Rating: 3/10

Actual Information About Me For Once

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Well, my 32nd birthday came and went. I never celebrate my birthday. I think my big thing for the day was making apple waffles. I’ve never understood the purpose of celebrating one’s mortality and the eventual coming of fraility and the weaking of the body and mind.

Been loving my month off from writing reviews. I can’t begin to tell you how burned out I was come June-July from DHGF, Pokemon, Beckett and everything else. Even in August I wrote two reviews, which is more than more than half my staff that was supposed to be working. Oy. Come September, I’m going to be cutting my own personal load of gaming writing down significantly. At 300 reviews and nearly 7 years in the industry, it is time to slow down significantly. Maybe I’ll start doing a weekly column instead of so many reviews. I think I’m doing only three in September: Persona remake, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and Dead Space. Other than that, we’re doing the 30 Days of Dreamcast piece (of which I did 9 entries - fitting for the whole 9/9/99 thing).

Friday was a great day of the County Fair, jogging and swimming. The County Fair in Arlington is actually pathetic compared to the MN STATE Fair, but I think MN has the biggest in the US, so it is no surprise. Guin will be up when MD has their state fair. I’ll have to see what kinds of food they offer… I did get a good Gyro from a Lebanese guy who then gave me a free lemonade because I could talk Manchester United with him. Living in England had some benefits it appears. I also had some bad cheese fries and got to play with ponies. As it was free to get in, it was worth it.

Today my car is in for new rear breaks and an AC recharge. Thursday is a dental cleaning and Friday is going to Mount Vernon with Anne. She just emailed me up out of the blue and I was like “Sure! I’m down with that. I love Mt. Vernon.”

CSC still owes me $150 bucks. I’m going to start charging late fees to them.

Not much else. I’ve been a bit of a recluse since I moved into the new place. Just doing a lot of exercising, reading and getting used to the new place.

DVD of the Day #236 - The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies (Blu-Ray)

Monday, August 24th, 2009

This was a purchase I made with an Amazon gift certificate. I have a hard time paying like $20 for a 60 minute documentary, but I like butterflies (and they apparently really like my hair) and the Blu-Ray version was cheaper than the normal DVD version, so I decided to support NOVA and PBS.

This is a detailed look about the migration of the Monarch butterfly and and how a Monarch from Winnipeg to Maine will be able to complete its leg of a three year journey towards Mexico or vice versa. It appears that Monarchs have the migration as part of their genetic material/unconcious collective and that even if you move a monarch to the other side of the country from its original location, it will still find its way to the specific spot in Mexico, they need to go.

This documentary also looks at the declining population of the Monarchs and how this particular phemomenon and how some Mexican towns make a year’s worth of income off the migration may be no more. it’s beautiful look with some stunning high-defenition footage that’s hard not to marvel at. This is a wonderful look at not only how well done a made for TV documentary can be, but also what a vast improvement Blu-Ray is over normal DVD’s.

Also, it was very hard not to write this review without calling The Phantom Limb a dick or to tell TimTom and Kevin to “subdue their bellies.”

Is It Worth Keeping? Yes
Rating: 7/10

DVD of the Day #235 - The Off Season

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

This is a very low budget and almost special effects devoid ghost story. It’s an interesting tale with a bit of a confusing ending. The acting isn’t that great, but it’s such a neat idea for a story, it doesn’t really matter. With a bigger budget and better actors, this might have been a cult hit. Instead it was a chance I took off Swapadvd.com that isn’t wasn’t great, but it was certainly worth watching.

The story is about a couple that moves from NYC to Maine so that the guy in the couple can write his great novel. However the guy is a talentless twat and as the girl gets a job as a librarian. The two take residence in a long-term hotel that rents out rooms by the month until they have enough money to survive. Of course it turns out this room is haunted something fierce and the guy eventually goes insane and leaves the girl at her worst possible moment when she is dreadfully sick and without any warning. It’s just, “Hey, I’m going to LA. Bye toots. You’ll make it on your own.”

After his douchebaggery, the girl decides to investigate the hotel and the previous residents of the room. She learns some interesting and creepy facts about the location and eventually encounters several ghosts directly.

Again, this is a neat movie, but the budget and actor quality drags it down severely. With a little more cash behind this project, it could have been pretty neat.

Is it Worth Keeping? No
Rating 4.5/10

DVD of the Day #234 - Headless Horsemen.

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Oh good, a Sci-Fi (now SyFy) original. This was entertaining crap, and nothing more. If you’re looking for anything based on the short story by Washington Irving, you won’t find it here. This is a story about a different headless horsemen that was (in the movie’s reality) the inspiration for the original.

There’s a little town in some backwords hick place called Wormwood. This town has been cursed by the devil. Each year, the undead headless horsemen will raise from some black goo, kill seven people and take their heads back to hell with him. if he doesn’t, the entire town goes to hell instead. As luck happens to have it, a SUV full of seven kids on the way to a kickin’ Hallowe’en party when there car breaks down and they are taken into Wormwood by a country tart with a wrecker. This town just happens to be Wormwood and as you might imagine, shit ensues.

The deaths of each of the victims are actually well done and fun, even if the story and acting isn’t very good. Richard Moll has the role of an evil librarian, but he’s the only actors I’ve seen before.

The movie is one of those things that isn’t too bad if it’s very late (or early) and you’re a bit punch drunk. It’s not a keeper and it’s not very good, but it can be entertainingly stupid at times.

is it Worth Keeping? No.
Rating: 4/10

DVD of the Day #233 - David Attenborough Wildlife Specials

Friday, August 21st, 2009

This is a fun collection of six different BBC documentaries featuring the greatest zoologist ever - David Attenborough…which you could probably guess by the name of this. Each documentary is 45 minutes long and focuses on a different animal. The documentaries are:

1) Polar Bear
2) Crocodile
3) Leopard
4) Eagle
5) Humpback Whale
6) Wolf

My favorites were Crocodile and Humpback whale, but each of these were a lot of fun and well done.

There are also two bonus documentaries included:

Great Natural Wonders of the World
Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth

Each of the bonus documentaries are an hour long and are a general look at nature and animals instead of the previous ones that focuses on a single species.

Overall an unexpected find on Swapadvd.com and one I happily recomment.

is it Worth Keeping? Yes.
Rating: 7/10