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Archive for September, 2009

DVD of the Day #273 - WWE Hall of Fame 2004 Induction Ceremony

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I got this off Swapadvd.com for four speeches I wantes to see/hear: Pete Rose, Sgt. Slaughter, Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura. BTW, Jesse has a new book coming out in 2010 about government conspiracies. Should be a hoot.

Anyway, this dvd went on for FAR too long. I see why they have cut the ceremony down big time since this 3+ hour babble fest. It was long than the bonus features, which for a WWE DVD is exceptionally rare.

Heenan was hilarious, Pete Rose finally got into some Hall of Fame and it still digusts me to no end that people like Michael Vick or the rampart roid users can be allowed back into their sports with but a spanking and Rose has been banned for life from Baseball. Sgt. Slaughter was disappointing. I still can’t believe there wasn’t a G.I. Joe reference in either his bio piece or speech. Jesse was well, his usual self and it was fun to watch. The rest of the DVD? Boring as hell. I gotta tell you when Billy Graham and Harley Race bore me, you know something is wrong.

The extras were pretty bad too save for the Pete Rose vs. Kane feud. Man, was the 1977 Sammartino vs Graham match awful. Neither could wrestler for shit and if this match was held today, it would have been akin to Viscera Vs. Great Khali. They gave us a John Studd Vs. Andre match, which is another awful pairing. In fact, now that I think about it, almost every wrestler in the hall of fame uinduction lost the match shown here.

This disc is a stinker across the board. Still, it was nice to see Jesse as the body instead of grizzled ex governor starting to go crazy.

Is It Worth Keeping? No
Rating: 4/10

Review #305

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Dead Space: Extraction
Developer: Eurocom
Publisher: Electronic Arts Visceral Games
Genre: Rails Shooter
Release Date: 09/29/2009

About this time last year, I reviewed a game called Dead Space. I enjoyed the game even though I found the story pretty lacking and the game to be more of an action game than anything scary or “survival horror” based. In fact, out of the Dead Space trilogy, I found the video game to be inferior to both the comic book limited series and the anime. At the end of the day, it’s about story for me.

Dead Space would go on to win our Best Horror Game of 2008 award, even though it retrospect, it should have gone to The Lost Crown or Theresia. Still, I’m a big fan of the franchise, even if the video game was weak compared to the two prequels, and so i was understandably excited for the announcement of Dead Space: Extraction, especially because it was a rail shooter. I’ve always loved light gun games, from Vampire Night to The House of the Dead: Overkill. It’s just cheesy simple fun. Besides the Wii has not only brought this dormant gaming genre out of hibernation, but has proven not only that games like HOTD:OK and Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles can be amazing games, but that the Wii can be a home for well made M rated games.

So how did Dead Space: Extraction hold up? Has the 360/PS3 game remained the weakest link in the Dead Space chain (a bit of irony as it’s supposed to be the crown jewel), or did DS:E turn out to be a bit of a forgettable blunder?
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DVD of the Day #272 - Irma Vep

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

This is a movie I’ve spent years considering buying. However beign a French Art Film coupled with a price tag of like $30, I held off, especially sicne I’ve never found anyone that has ever seen this film. So when I joined Netflix, this was a definite grab for me.

This film is both a satire on intellectualism and eltist films while also being one. At points the movie was slow and a bit boring, but unlike most films of this nature that are just boring, this is doing it to make a point.

The film is about a once great director who is now a broken down mess of a man and his attempt to remake the silent classic Les Vampires which is a seven hour collection of short films about a nefarious spy organization called The Vampires. Instead of choosing a frenchwoman to play the lead character of Irma Vep, he chooses British Citizen and Hong Kong film icon Maggie Cheung to play the laytex catsuit weaing lady herself(which is the main reason i wanted to see this). Maggie however, doesn’t speak a word of French, which is the first of many problmes this production will encounter. An interesting note is the real director of this film ends up marrying Maggie a few years after making this and they ended up getting divorced while making a film together too. Oops.

As the film goes on disasters occurs. These are manily political and cliquish infighting, which is meant to highlight the problem with the French movie industry of this era and why nothing of merit was coming out at this time. Everyone cared about themselves and were making the films for themselves, rather than for an audience or for the love of making a film. As such, everyone’s vision eroded everyone else’s as there was no real cohesion. It’s nice to see how much the French fi;m industry has changed in the past decade because really, France has just been hitting it out of the ball pack as of late with the horror and mystery films, ranging from Frontier(s) to Roman De Gare.

This isn’t a laugh out loud film. The humour is very French, and as such it is very dry and subtle. Honestly, fi you didn’t know this was a satire, you might think it was a drama. One of my favorite bits is where Maggie, in an attempt to get into her role, wears the catsuit late at night and stars stealing ala a cat burglar. Very funny and cute.

Overall, the film was good for what it was, but it did feel a little long and dull at times. I wouldn’t buy it and I don’t need to see it again, but I’m glad I finally got to see this film after five years of wanting to.

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

Wow. I think Barney Stinton Plagarized Scott and Me

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Barney (NPH)’s latest blog entry uses definitions I’m pretty sure I actually posted in my original LJ years ago. It’s definitely exact verbiage my IRL friends have heard me use years before this show ever aired.

I guess it’s true. Barney is like a less ethical version of me in suits.

Of course that makes Guin both “Casket Match” and “Sherbatsky.” Hmm…she does like going to the mall. And robots.

***********************************************************
From Barney’s Blog

re·la·tion·ship [ree-ley-shuh n-ship] – A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other.

I mean, how ridiculous can one get? “Connection existing between people”?! What are we, Siamese twins? “related to” Um, no. Gross. “Dealings with each other”? We don’t have dealings, we have intercourse! Crazy, “here put this on” intercourse! Clearly, Robin and I are not in a “relationship.” But since Lily refuses to let it go, I thought I’d offer up some better definitions of how two people choose to interact… well, the PG version anyway.

hook·ing up [hoo-k-ing up] - When two people do it, consistently, but aren’t hanging out during daylight hours – unless it’s for the express purpose of getting it on.

hang·ing out [hang – ing – owt] – The process of participating in an organized activity together – such as a movie or dinner - followed shortly thereafter by furious banging.

see·ing where things are go·ing [see-ing wair things ahr going] – The process in which two people hang out, hook up, and do everything they can not to think about what it means.

da·ting – [day-ting] 1) The first time seeing where things are going fails. 2) Hanging out without the guarantee of sex.

marr·iage – [marr-edge] see: suicide.

play·ing the field – [play-ing the feeeeld] – Banging as many people as possible.

just friends – [just frends] – Two people who probably could’ve banged that one night but didn’t and it’s been a little weird ever since. They’ve thought about it, though.

Barn·man and Rob·in [barn-man and rob-in] – A delightful and humorous play on words meant to equate Barney Stinson and Robin Scherbatsky with popular comic book superheroes Batman and Robin, but instead of fighting crime they like to have sex in public places… but they do sometimes wear costumes, so… yeah.

Cheap Plugs

Monday, September 28th, 2009

It’s Alex Monday at DHGF today it appears as all four articles bear my name.

Pokemon Heart Gold & Soul Silver Review

Vampire Chronicle for Matching Service

An Interview with Rene Hellwig about why his company Hucast still publishes for the ol’ Dreamcast

Streets of Rage Column

DVD of the Day #271 - Green Lantern: First Flight

Monday, September 28th, 2009

I’m not really a big fan of Hal Jordan. Guy Gardener is the one true GL in my eyes, followed ky Killowog, G’Nort and Kyle Rayner. Hal is just a bland shallow character and so when this was announced as the next DC Direct animated film, I skipped on purchasing it, especially after how bad Gotham Knight and Superman/Doomsday were and how people were up in arms about Wonder Woman being shit.

However, thanks to Netflix, I picked this up. I thought it would make for a decent evening of entertaining crap. Well, Hal was still two dimensional, boring as hell and one of the blandest super heroes ever, but the rest of the cast and crew really made the film shine in spite of the lead character.

Most people know the origin of Hal Jordan, right? Abin Sur, a dying alien crash lands on Earth and tell shis ring to go find a suitable replacement to recieve his phenomonal cosmic power. The ring finds to, Guy and Hal, and picks Hal because he is closer. Hal inherits the ring and the lantern shaped battery and becomes the Green Lantern, another superhero from DC’s Silver Age.

This movie follows modern continuity more than the Silver Age, with Hal being trained by Sinestro and meeting all the other GL’s from across the universe right away. However, it then differs quite radically from any other Green Lantern continuity. First off, everyone automatically hates Hal because he’s human. Ouch.

Here we have Sinestro turning heel, as everyone who has ever read a DC comic or seen an episode of Super Friends expects. However I was surprised and pleasantly so to see Kanjar Ro and the Weaponers of Qward show up and have a decent role. I was also shocked that one of the most popualr Green Lanters of the 1990’s era turned heel and sided with Sinestro. That was a great twist and one I was shocked by.

This is also the most violent DC animated product I have ever seen. There is a LOT of death. Major characters from the Green Lantern mythos are killed off in this film. Several Green Lanterns die, a few characters from the GL rogue’s gallery bite it and it’ll be pretty hard to make a sequel because really, who is left for Green Lantern to face?

In all, I actually really enjoyed this, but it was more because of Sinestro, and seeing classic GL’s I haven’t seen since I was a little kid like CH’P, Arisa and I think I even saw Jack T. Chance, which was pretty cool. G’Nort would have been awesome to have as well. This really isn’t worth purchasing due to the movie only being about an hour long and the lack of interest I have for Hal Jordan, but I would pick it up for free if it came up on Swapadvd.com.

Is It Worth Keeping? No.
Rating: 6/10

DVD of the Day #270: The X-Files: Season 8

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

You know what? I’m sure I’m going to take a lot of heat for this but I liked Agent Doggett. In fact, I think he’s my favourite character in the series. I really wish they hadn’t brought Mulder back partways through as his return (and in such a stupid fashion at that) really brought the quality of the series down. The episodes of just Robert Patrick or Patrick and Gillian Anderson were by far the best of the season and I honestly think they should have just jettisoned both Scully and Mulder and let Reyes and Dogget have a season or three by themselves. If that had happened, the X-Files probably would have continued, but with out the horrible stupid alien-human hybrid colonization conspiracy crap that eventually bogged down the Mully-Sculler storyline.

Best Episodes:

Patience - Scully and Doggett Vs. a revenge driven werebat.
Redrum - A DA is going backwards in time each day instead of forward and it is somehow tied to the murder of his wife, which he has been accused of.
The Gift - A Native American man that eats disease is kept and tortured by a town in an attempt to keep all their critical illnesses at bay
Madusa - tiny jellyfish FTW!

Worst Episodes -

Deadalive - Mulder comes back from the dead after being dead for three months yet doesn’t become an evil alient monster zombie like everyone else this happened to. Ugh.
Vienen - Mr. Friendly from Lost is the leader of the black oil virus aliens and can turn into living radiation. Does Ben know?
Empedocles - They turned Doggett’s dead kid into an X-file. Oy.

Overall I was happy to see a lot of the alien crap finished up. We saw the end of the Eddie Fiori bounty hunter, the end of Krychek, and this was a huge improvement over Season 7. Still, a lot of potential was lost by both the writers and fans being unwilling or unable to give Reyes and Doggett a chance and it’s a damn shame at that. I really enjoyed both characters and think that due to the lack of eight years of convoluted continuity, they could have been the X-Files for a whole other ner generation of viewers.

Is It Worth Keeping? Yes
Rating: 6.5/10

Review #304

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Pokemon Heart Gold & Soul Silver
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Turn Based RPG
Release Date: 09/12/2009 (Japan)

As most of our readers here at Diehard GameFAN know, I’ve had Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver for quite some time now. I was the first to break the announcement of its release and by the Japanese launch day I had FAQ’s and Strategy Guides for both sets of Gym Leaders and the Elite Four up here. For those new to the site, I pull in two different Pokemon paychecks: one as a consultant for The Pokemon Company back in Japan and the other as a writer for Pokemon Collector Magazine here in the states. It’s these ties that have allowed me to be an official “leak” for Pokemon information and lets me tease my staff here with games months before they’re even announced to the Japanese audience. At the same time though, it means you’re about to read a review of a game that the author in question makes money off of. Although I’ve certainly reviewed Pokemon games in the past and given them less than flattering scores (Emerald, Trozei, Dash), people new to me (or DHGF in general) are definitely welcome to take this review with a grain of salt.

That being said, it’s time to see what a return trip to Johto holds for you. The second generation of Pokemon RPG’s are universally considered the best in the history of the franchise. With the remakes adding a ton of new content, do they manage to surpass the originals?
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DVD of the Day #269 - Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

I’m not really sure why this is considered a movie when it’s only 23 minutes long, the same length as a normal episode of the cartoon, but oh well. Actually it even has the same intro and outro as the series. Maybe it’s just an episode that was nixed from the regular series. Who knows.

For some reason this is a completely different voice acting troupe than the TV series. I’m guessing Funimation didn’t let their cast get out or Anime Works found a loophole where they got the films and Funimation got the actually series.

Either way this is a pretty bad episode of Yu Yu Hakusho as it revolved around the son of the Netherworld being kidnapped by a fellow kindergardener and the cast has to get him back. Lots of violence and slapstick later, everyone is happy happy and friends. This was really REALLY not good. The new cast was awful, the story was stupid and the animation was of a noticeably lower quality. It was very grainy and like it was a copy of a copy of a copy.

Definite pass.

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

DVD of the Day #268: NOVA: Search For a Safe Cigarette

Friday, September 25th, 2009

This was a fun history of the tabacco industry and how they have evolved each time something they have done has been revealed to be horrible not only in terms of physical damage, but ethically as well. You’re learn about how companies have tried to hide wacky things about cigarettes and then do a 180 once they are caught. Did you know the first filter was made of asbestos. So the tobacco companies tried to cut down on lung cancer with…guaranteed lung cancer. Even more hilarious, the company that created the filter knew asbestos was cancerous and tried to hid that little tidbit as well by saying “It’s so safe we’ll use it in our schools as fire protection.” Oy vey.

At the same time, the documentary does look at the attempts within the industry to make a real safe cigarette and the problems that have been ecountered, many of which are politics from within the industry itself. From specially grown tobacco to cutting down the carcinogenic chemicals in a cigarette to the electronic cigarettes that are proven to be FAR less of a risk yet most countries have made illegal because of the “Fear of niccotine addiction” which is really just a way of saying “the tobacco industry paid us a shitlod of money to sell out out citizens and ban the safe choice instead of the one filled with rat poison and the gas used to kill jews in Auschwitz,” we get to see not only all the electric car-esque methods the industry has come up with to actually make smoking safer and/or healthier, but how the tobacco industry itself killed these products out of greed and depravity.

I don’t think there’s anyone alive that would doubt that the Tobacco Industry as it is is pretty much built on a foundation of the worst traits humanity has to offer, so it was refreshing to see the positive attempts by some in the industry to fix the evils some horrible human beings have purposely inflicted on billions.

Is It Worth Keeping? Yes
Rating: 8/10