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Archive for October, 2009

DVD of the Day #304 -Onechanbara

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Happy Hallowe’en gang. Only two more months of having to do this. WORST NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION EVER.

Onechanbara is a movie based on the D3 video game series of the same name. You might remember me reviewing the Wii version earlier this year and loving it. I actually really enjoyed the movie too. it was cheesy and hokey but it actually stuck to the video game series pretty nicely, right down to characters doing their signature moves, the trademark blood splatter on the sword being splashed against the camera and even the rage mode. Very unexpected and fun.

It’s the near future and it’s zombiemania running wild. Your only hope? A sexy asian chick wearing only a cowboy hat, lingere and a mink stole. Of course, she also has two katanas and strange psychic powers, but that’s Japan for you. On the other side of the coin is Aya’s sister Saki who is evil and obsessed with being the most powerful warrior on the planet all while helping the zombie master create new undead hybrids.

Along the way Aya makes friends with a chubby blonde asian named Katsuji and another character Reika (who is actually from the video games). Together they travel around Japan killing the undead until the final climatic battle between the two sisters.

Entertaining crap and worth watching because I love this series, but it’s not completely in synch with the games. Still, it was worth watching. I’m just not sure if it’s worth keeping. I guess I’m just happy it exists.

Best part of the movie was the trailer for the live action Zeiram film, which i never knew existed before now, even though IRIA is one of my favourite animes of all time. Who knew?

Is It Worth keeping? unsure
Rating: 5.5/10

DVD of the Day #303 - Vampire Hunter D

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Well, it’s Devil’s Night, so we might as well go with this timeless little classic.

Vampire Huinter D may not be as good as the sequel, but it’s arguably the most important anime in my life. From having more than a passing resemblance to Kikuchi’s character in my youth to actually meeting Kikuchi and Amano because of it, VHD is as much a part of my life as well…his father who I am also sometimes mistaken for.

I remember seeing this at 3am in 8th grade on TNT. Sure it was heavily edition for television, but I didn’t know that. all I knew is that it was something special. The animation was brilliant (for its day), the story was gripping and the characters were awesome. Eventually when I found it on VHS, I was astounded by how gorey the unedited version was and that made it all the cooler. Of course, it wasn’t Fist of the North Star gorey, but it was still pretty sweet.

This anime is base dof the first of the VHD novels. It’s pretty straight forward. Count Magnus Lee wants a young girl named Doris to be his vampire bride. She gets bit and then hires D, a dhampir (Half-vampire) to slay the Count. Of course it stops being straight forward when you bring in the counts motley crew of ghouls, mutants and undead minions, Gecko, the spoiled brat son of the local mayor who also desires Doris, and of course D’s symbiotic living hand.

One of the things that still gets me today is that this is set in 10,090 AD. The worst is obviously post-apocalyptic but it’s a wonderful mix of technology and mysticism.

This still remains one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen, but it pales in comparison to Bloodlust. Guin, who has always wanted to see a D movie but never had the opportunity got to see one while she was here over Labour Day. Of course, I chose Bloodlust simply because it’s the best looking animated film ever. Next time though, we’ll certainly watch this one.

Is It Worth Keeping? No anime collection is complete without it
Rating: 8/10

DVD of the Day #302 - Rey Mysterio - The Biggest Little Man

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Eh, It came free with the three Legends of Wrestling DVD’s I reviewed earlier this year. I’m not a big fan of Rey. I prefer Mistico, La Parka, Super Crazy, Cibernetico, Pierroth Jr., Psicosis and many other luchadores to Rey. he’s forumulac that Bret Hart. He only has the same basic match each time and you can really see him having to be carried by other, more talented cruiserweights and it’s apparent in this collection. There are three matches involving Psicosis, 2 with Ultimo Dragon, 3 with Dean Malenko, 2 with Juvie, FIVE with Eddie Guerrro and FOUR with Chavito Guerrero. Seriously, I realize the guy can only have a good match with a limited selection of opponents, but damn, don’t make it so obvious.

1. Latin Lover, Heavy metal and Rey Mysterio Vs. Louie Spicolli, Fuerza Guerrera and Psicosis. Boring six man tag that ends abruptly and even the commentators are like, “WTF? It’s over?” 0/1

2. Rey Mysterio Vs. Psicosis. ECW intro to Lucha Libre match. Both men were best when Paul E let them go all out rather than Vince and Eric Bischoff’s crappy toned down luchadore stylings. They really should ahve done the two out of three falls match though. 1/2

3. Mysterio Vs. Juventud Guerrero. Oh god. Crap vs. Crap right here. Blown spots and fake wonky looking moves galore. 1/3

4. Rey Mysterio vs. Dean Malenko. Dean is underrated and underappreciated. It was the Man of 1000 Holds that managed to carry Rey for months and get him over. This is their first encounter and thankfully Malenko wins. 2/4

5. Malenko/Mysterio This is from Monday Night raw a month later where Rey finally wins the belt. 3/5

6. Mysterio/Ultimo Dragon. Awesome to see the WWE calls him ULTIMATE DRAGON in the video and in the booklet while the announcers at WCW actually get it right for once. Dragon is the second greatest CW ever and it’s a shame they jobbed him to Mysterio here. At least he carries Rey to an aweosme match. 4/6.

7. Rey Mysterio Vs. Super Calo. Boring match. it’s only on here because it features two rings due to War games later that night. 4/7.

8. Rey Mysterio Vs. Dean Malenko. Malenko finally wins the title back in a pretty good match. 5/8.

9. Rey Mysterio Vs. Jushin Liger. Liger is the greatest CW wrestler of all time and thankfully WCW lets him dominate the match and win it. Glorified squash match, but the right guy went over, especially as Liger had just come back from a brain tumour. 6/9.

10. Rey Mysterio Vs. Ultimo Dragon. Well, at least we get to see Ultimo Dragon twice. Another carried match where Ultimo is awesome and yet he doesn’t go over. At least he makes Rey look good. 7/10.

11. Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero. This is their best match on the collection and one of the best opening matches to a PPV of all time. Rey’s second best match ever. 8/11

12. Rey Mysterio Vs. Eddie Guerrero. Eddie wins the title, but it’s a boring match and a good chunk of the match is what they usually do when they’re in the ring together. 8/12

13. Rey Mysterio Vs. Juventud Guerrera. Mysterio wins the title. Again. A very dull match. 8/13.

14. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho. Jericho isn’t into full Ralphus protected asshat yet, but this is a fun match with good psychology with Jericho winning the title. 9/14.

15. Rey Mysterio Vs. Psicosis. Just a generic match between the two. Not sure why this was included. 9/15.

16. Rey Mysterio vs. Blitzkreig. I miss Blitzkreig. Awesome wrestler that got out way too soon. He made Rey look good in his first match for WCW here. 10/16.

17. Rey Mysterio Vs. Chavo Guerrero. Rey’s first WWF match. Nothing special to say the least. Lots of ring rust and blow spots. 10/17.

18. Rey Mysterio Vs. Kurt Angle. Rey’s best match ever. Angle makes anyone look awesome. 11/18.

19. Rey Mysterio Vs. Matt Hardy. A boring CW match highlighted only by classic Mattitude hijinx. 11/19.

20. Rey Mysterio vs, Tajiri. Tajiri really toned it down a lot here to help Ray stay in pace with him, which is a shame. Rey wins the title. Again. Tajiri has had better matches but the WWE really never knew what to do with him after they realized he was more over than most of their roster. 11/20.

21. Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero. Really? AGAIN? This is just another generic throwaway match between these two. No value of significance and the quality isn’t there either. 11/21.

22. Rey and Eddie Vs. The Bashams. Rey and Eddie win the titles together as the WWE continues to suck the corpse of Eddie Guerrero off. This is an AWFUL match, which is no surprise as it involves the Bashams. 11/22.

23. Rey Vs. Eddie. Forumlaic match between these two once again. Nowhere as good as their WCW days and it ends in a Schmozz. Okay then. 11/23.

24. Rey Vs Eddie. Fifth time these two are in a match together in this dvd. Seriously? WTF WWE? A generic smackdown free tv match. again, it’s paint by numbers. 11/24

25. Rey Mysterio vs. Shawn Michaels. My friend Chris Whitehead and I saw this match live. It was the first wrestling card Chris had ever seen andthis was by far his favourite match. Shawn made Rey look like a zillion bucks. 12/25

26. Rey Vs. Kurt Vs. Orton. Orton is awful to watch. Angle is Awesome. the two kind of balance each other out. WWE never has very good triple threat matches and this is no exception. Yes a CW finally won the world title in the WWE, but it was a pity win and Rey’s title reign was horribly handled by the WWE. 12/26.

27. Rey Vs JBL. Man, two guys I usually can’t stand in the ring against each other. Yet somehow, they have a pretty good brawl here. The only good match of Rey’s title reign save finally jobbing to King Booker. 13/27

28. Rey Mysterio vs,. Chavo Guerrero. Ugh. At least it was an FCA match, but it still wasn’t good. 13/28

29. Rey Mysterio Vs. Chavo Guerrero. This was an I Quit match and a way to get Rey out fro a while so he could have knee surgery. of course, they quickly blew Chavo’s heel push. Oy. Still not a good match and a boring way to end the DVD. 13/29.

Wow. Not even a 50% match quality ratio with 29 matches. That’s pretty sad. Again, at least it was free. $15 for this and the three LoW DVD’s total is a good deal. This however, goes up on the trading block. Rey just doesn’t do it for me.

Is It Worth Keeping? No
Rating: 4.5/10

Review #315

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Genre: Bemani
Release Date: 10/27/009

Man, it’s that time of year again. Two years and one month ago, Konami released the first DDR game for the Nintendo Wii, Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party. Now I’ve never been a DDR fan, but I decided to review it to see how the new handheld controls added to the game worked out, and I found myself having a lot of fun with the game. DDR Hottest Party 2 was released a year later with some noticeable improvements to the track lists and hand control detection.

Now it’s time for this year’s entry into the Hottest Party series, which promises a bunch of new changes, although for quite a bit of 2009, all next gen systems were simply supposed to be getting a game called Dance Dance Revolution that was the same across the board. I’m not sure why this changed, but I’m no expert on the DDR series; I just pay attention to this one.

So how does the newest DDR entry for the Wii hold up? Considering you can only buy it in bundle form right now, is it worth your $70, especially if you have the previous two games and a pad for your Wii?
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DVD of the Day #301 - Quarantine

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

You know, generally when Hollywood Americanizes a film, they tend to royally fuck it up. With Quarantine, the film sticks about 75% to the source material. In fact all they changed was the source of the infection. In REC (which we reviewed yesterday) it was demonic possession disguised as zombiism. With this remake, it’s actually a super fast acting form of rabies. At no point do they play the zombie card, which I love. The swerve here is that the rabies was genetically engineered by a doomsday cult.

Quaratine also features the same creepy looking lady thing at the end of the movie as REC, but it doesn’t make sense considering the source of the disease in this film compared to the original. Well, at least they tried to stay true. In fact, this film as a lot of shot by shot recreations too, which makes me wonder why the Spanish version just didn’t get a theatrical release instead. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this fillm as much as REC as they are noticeably different. For example, I loved that the first 45 boring minutes of REC were condensed into 15 minutes here and the rest of the film was trying to figure out what was killing everyone and why combined with more character to die horribly or get infected.

Both films have their merits and it really paid to watch them back to back as you could really see what the US version changed and why. Although I prefer the cause of what kills everyone in this film, I do prefer the original on the basis of acting and creepiness. Still, if you don’t want to sit through subtitles or a bad English dub, you can forgo REC and see this without any real loss.

Is It Worth Keeping? No, it’s a one-shot.
Rating: 6/10

DVD of the Day #300 - REC

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Wow. Only 65 more of these to go. I’ve purposely waited to see Quarrantine as I wanted to see the original Spanish film it is based on first. At only 75 minutes, it’s a very short film, but sadly, the first half of the movie is so slow I almost turned off the film. It’s boring setup that isn’t really needed and it doesn’t make you care about any of the characters. The two main characters, Pablo and Angela are a TV crew filming a fire department when they get a call to check out a house. Once inside, the government and police lock the house off from the general public and refuse to let anyone leave,. Eventually we discover why - a fat naked old lady who seems unkillable and whose saliva causes others to become like her. At first I was li,e, “Oh shot, another bad foreign zombie film” but it ends up taking some neat twists. At first you are led to believe it started fromt his little girls dog and you get a bit of amusement knowing the little girl and the dog get to die horribly (one on camera, the other off). Then it gets even cooler as the film builds to a very unexpected climax.

SPOILERS AHOY KIDS

It’s not actually a crappy zombie film. It’s demonic possession that mimicks a virulent disease. We even get the root of the problem and to see her in the flesh and she’s one of the creepiest bitches I can think of in recent horror film history. She’s freaky as hell and very well done. I loved this twist on both the classic and played out zombie bullshit, but also the twist on demonic possession as well. Of course, everyone dies at the end and I found that I loved the second half of the movie as much as I hated the first half.

My real big problem now lies in the fact that both the Spanish and US versions of the film give away the very ending in all the commercials and trailers leaving me to go, “Why would anyone do such a thing.”

Not worth keeping, which is good as it’s a netflix DVD, but it ended up being worth my time in the end. Now we’ll have to see how the US version holds up. Hopefully better than Shutter and One Missed Call

Is it Worth keeping? No, but it’s a fun one-shot
Rating: 5.5/10

DVD of the Day #299 - Ghouls

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Oh god, another made for Sci-Fi Channel movie. How bad is it, when the best Sci-Fi movie I’ve ever seen is still Ice Spiders?

I really can’t tell you what they were thinking with this one. For one things, ghouls are undead that feed on carrion. They are not incoporeal creatures that can take solid form in order to kill humans while under the control of an evil high priestess that wants to destroy the world. Muahahahaha.

Okay, here’s the plot. Generic American girl #9567983209 learns her grandmother that she has never seen before has died and her father is taking her to the funeral…IN TRANSYLVANIA. Whoooo, yeah. They went there. Anyway, when they get there, the girl learns about a cult of evil people that works with the ghouls and that it is a special day that only happens once every 1500 years where the ghouls can gain supreme power through their priestess. However, their priestess is dead and they need to transfer her power and dark energy into a new waiting vessel. Of course the grandmother is the priestess and the granddaughter is the vessel. In comes a pair of shotgun weilding druids, one of which dies early on the other other becomes the love interest of the girl. Stupid shit happens. More stupid shit happens. bad special effects and third rate gore happens. Girl accepts the dark power but then commands the ghousl to kill the cult and then commits suicide so all the ghouls dies too. Then she comes back to life for such a noble sacrifice. End film.

Crappy movie. Crappy crappy movie.

Is It Worth keeping? NO.
Rating: 2.5/10

Review #314

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Bakugan Battle Brawlers
Publisher: Activsion
Developer: NowPro
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy
Release Date: 10/20/2009

Well, it’s finally here. Bakugan Battle Brawlers has finally hit the video game world after being one of the biggest toy and cartoon crazes of this decade. Not since Pokemon had a fad from Japan taken the US by storm. Although Sega actually invented the toy line (As you’ll even see in the opening credits of the game), it took Activision to turn the toy line/board game into a video game, showing once against that Sammy Sega might just be the stupidest video game publisher on the market, giving up a chance for guaranteed millions of dollars, if not more.

Of course, this is a licensed game, and how often do those turn out very well? Still, Activision had to know that making a bad Bakugan game would give this franchise its first black eye on the market and god knows neither they nor NowPro (the developers) would want to be responsible for that. As such, Activision went all out and got the voice acting cast from the cartoon and the American story editors and localizers to ensure this game fit in not only with continuity of the anime, but so that Bakugan fans in all shape and sizes would be eager to exchange their (or their parent’s) money for digital gaming goodness.

So how did Bakugan Battle Brawlers turn out? Was the end result a game that Baukgan fans and newcomers to the game/anime/what have you can be happy with, or has Bakugan gone the way of Digimon where it just couldn’t churn out a quality video game experience?
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DVD of the Day #298 - Krull

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

I haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid. I remember thinking it was neat but I didn’t really get into fantasy until 5th or 6th grade with AD&D’s Ravenloft.

Although this movie is cheesy as only British films can be, it’s well acted and has a pretty neat plot combined sword and sorcery with sci-fi elements. Basically it’s a magic/fantasy world and what happens when a sci-fi/alien technologically superior race invades a planet. The bad guys are led by “The Beast” who in nifty fashion is never fully shown at any point in the film, even in the big climax. It also appears it lives in Stonehenge.

The movie involves the Crown Prince trying to reclaim his bride from the beast. In order to do so he makes new allies that range from a stupid wizard to a cyclops and a quest to find the ultimate weapon - the glaive. The glaive is what most people remember first about this movie and you can’t deny it’s a pretty fucking sweet weapon. There’s also a crazy hermit who lives in a giant spider web, a doppleganger that kills blind old men, and a lot of other neat monsters.

Although I enjoyed this movie and it is definitely a keeper, I have to say that I actually prefer the Krull board game and the old Atari 2600 video game more. The video game is one of the best licensed titles ever and it’s certainly worth tracking down to play. It’s also worth hooking up my Atari just to play it one more time.

Fun movie, and it’s actually gotten better with age even if it’s somewhat hokey.

Is It Worth Keeping? Yes
Rating: 6.5/10

DVD of the Day #297 - Legends of Wrestling: Jerry Lawler and Junkyard Dog

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

This was the weakest of the three DVD’s in the Legends of Wrestling collection. The roundtable discussion on both men was pretty boring and the highlight was learning Jerry Lawler once had a date with Sybil Shepard and made her a dinner of boiled red cabbage. Nothing else - just cabbage. They barely touched on the Kaufman angle and god knows why anyone feels JYD is worth this attention when he was only ever a main eventer in a Watts poromotion and a midcarder every place else.

Awful match selection too. Let’s take a look.

1. Lawler and Jimmy Valiant Vs. Kerry Von Erich and Michael PS Hayes. This is a schmozz tag match to set up Super Clash three. very boring and ends in a double count out. 0 for 1

2. Jerry Lawler Vs. Owen Hart. On paper this would be a fun match, but it was for like Wrestling Challenge so it’s a pretty bad match across the board. 0 for 2.

3. Jerry Lawler Vs. Roddy Piper. This was a KOTR match and man, neither guy could work at this point. Piper has a stupid sidekick for some reason too. Why is this here? 0 for 3.

4. Jerry Lawler Vs. Bret Hart. Fun match that Lawler wins with the help of JINSEI SHINZAKI. This feud was the only time I found Bret Hart interesting. 1 for 4.

5. Jerry Lawler Vs Bret Hart. This is a “Kiss my foot” match. ANother fun match between these two. Great chemistry all around. 2 for 5.

6. Jerry Lawler vs. Mary Garner. Ummm, this is just a jobber match. Why put this on? Why not put the awesome Lawler Vs. Tazz match when Taz was a big bully? 2 for 6.

7. Junkyard Dog and Sgt. Slaughter Vs. Nikolai Volkoff and Iron Shiek. Surprisingly good match considering the work rate of all four men. 3 for 7.

8. Greg Valentine Vs. Junkyard Dog. This was the IC title match form WM 1. Like all WM I matches, this was boring as shit. 3 for 8.

9. Junkyard Dog Vs. Randy Savage. This is the finals of the Wrestling Classic which was basiclaly KOTR before KOTR. JYD wins by countout which is lame, but it’s a good match. 4 for 9.

10. JYD Vs. Adrian Adonis. AWFUL Match. Next. 4 for 10.

11. JYD Vs. Harley Race. Another Awful match. Both men were such awful wrestlers in the ring. How the fuck did race get six world titles? 4 for 11.

12. JYD Vs. Harley Race. This was from WMIII. These two men should never have been allowed in the ring together. 4 for 12.

So…33% match quality rating and we’ll round it down due to the lackluster documentary.

Is It Worth Keeping? Only because the other two discs in the collection are awesome.

Rating: 3/10