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Archive for October, 2009

DVD of the Day #296 - Cabaret

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

You know, I tend to enjoy the occasional musical. I’ve always liked the main theme from Cabaret, so I decided to pick this up off of Swapadvd.com, especially as it had won so many Oscars. I mean, I’ve liked most other Oscar winning Musicals like Chicago, so let’s give this a chance.

Uh…no. This was actually freakin’ awful. How the HELL did Liza Minelli win an Oscar for best actress in this thing? Her performance is god awful, she’s completely wooden throughout the film and has no actual emotion or personality. It’s like she was heavily sedated through the entire production. Oh wait…

The rest of the acting is as bad, if not worse, which was really disappointing. The entire cast phones it in at best, or actually stumbles through lines. There is no acting here. It’s more like a dress rehersal for a high school play.

The music is great. I can’t deny that, but notice I said music and not singing. I can’t tell you how much better this would have been with a different cast. I know more than once I sat there with my mouth open going, “How did such a bad movie do so well commercially and critically?”

Oh, the plot’s about almost but not quite pre-Nazi Germany and Jews and people whoring around. And angst. We can’t forget the angst.

Holy crap, was this awful. I went it really hopefully and expecting a pretty good movie and I came out thinking I might have seen the big budget hollywood musical ever. How did this ever succeed.

Wait no. I think Madonna’s Evita might be worse.

Is it Worth Keeping? No
Rating 3/10

Review #313

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Marvel Super Hero Squad
Developer: Blue Tongue
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Action Platformer
Release Date: 10/21/2009

I’ll admit it; even though I have read comics in a long time, there will always be a part of me that loves super heroes. That’s probably why I always volunteer to play games like this. Sometimes this nets me something awesome, like Batman: Arkham Asylum. Other times it gives mediocre drudge like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2.

So when Marvel Super Hero Squad came up, I definitely jumped on it. I should point out I haven’t seen the cartoon, but I’ve seen the toys for years and found them adorable. Especially Chibi-Galactus and Sentinel. I also find the theme song incredibly catchy. Most of all, I was pretty dejected with the drop in quality with the MUA games since Vicarious Visions took over, so I was hoping this cute looking title would make up for it.

So how did Marvel Super Hero Squad turn out? Did it outshine the more “mature” Marvel franchise, or has proven yet again that THQ and quality are generally not to be used in the same sentence.

DVD of the Day #295: Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Ah Troma, so witty and smart but yet so fucking stupid and over the top with gore and titties.

For every thing this movie does right, like naming every major character after a fast food place (Carl Jr., Wendy, Arbie, Paco Bell, etc) or having amazingly catchy musical numbers, it does something horribly wrong like being two hours long or way too much florescent green vomit. In the end, I laughed at the movie as much as I sighed or rolled my eyes, which tends to be a Troma trademark. it’s not a good film by any means, but it’s also one of the few films that can get away with being HORRIBLY racist and yet funny because of it. Also, it’s the only movie where the romance climaxes with the line, “You had me as ‘Shit Covered Mongolid.’”

Basically the film is about a fast food chicken shack built on a Native American graveyard. As such, the patrons and workers, along with protestors from CLAM (College Lesbians Against Megaconglomerates) are attacked by zombie chickens and people possessed by by hybrid Native American/chikcen ghosts that turn them into were-chickens. There is a lot of gore, a lot of nudity, a lot of lesbian erotica, a lot of shit and blood and vomit and a lot of off-colour remarks. When the key to defeating the chicken-native american spirits is booze because Native Americans are all alcoholic drunks that can’t resist the white man’s liquor, you know you how to go “ouch.”

The acting isn’t great and you have to sit through a 15 minute Lloyd Kaufman montage and anti-Chinese rant before the film actually begins, but the movie is arguably Troma’s best, which isn’t saying much. I’m glad I saw it and the music is well done, but this is a poor man’s Evil Dead 2. When the movie is on, it is ON, but unfortunately the wit and candor is rare and the movie just sticks primarily to the usual Troma crap.

Is It Worth Keeping? No, but it was worth watching?
Rating: 5/10

A Story

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Last night I dreamt I had colon cancer. Then I woke up and it looked like there was blood in my stool.

I had red peppers for lunch and dinner last night. Whoops.

Bit of a weird stomach feeling for a second or two…

DVD of the Day #294: The X-Files: I Want To Believe (Blu-Ray)

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Wow, this was just fucking awful. This was one fo the worst things ever written with the words “X-FIles” attached to it, and there is an amazing amount of X-Files crap out there. This film should never have been made and it just cemented in my mind that Chris Carter is a god awful fucking writer. He has good ideas, but he should never be allowed to flesh them out or script them, Leave that to other more talented people.

Man, what a mess of a film. The plot is so convoluted, Guin watched it twice and she still found it hard to follow. it’s a hodge podge of stem cell research, transsexual Frankenstein flesh golem making, homosexual russian organ stealing, siamese twin dog experimentation, pedophilliac priests with lung cancer and psychic abilities, random people dying, the evils of religion when intermixed with religion, little boys dying of incurable diseases and rehashing of the two worst bits of the X-Files series: that being the final episode and the fucking stupidity of Scully’s baby. Oh we can’t forget Mulder is still obsessed with his sister’s disapearance even though he fucking solved it and he knows she is at peace and DEAD.

I don’t know what they paid David Ducovony and Gillian Anderson to make this, but god knows they should be ashamed to have done this film. It’s fucking brutal from beginning to end and we should all pretend it doesn’t exist. I Want To Believe is the final nail in the X-Files coffin and let’s all hope it is never revived again. At least Mitch Pleggi shows up briefly for no reason and adds nothing to film, but is still there. Bad, bad film.

Is It Worth Keeping? No, not even the free digital copy that came with this
Rating: 2/10

Review #312

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Hero’s Saga: Laevatein Tactics
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Gung Ho
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release Date: 10/16/2009

After a long drought, it’s been a good year for Tactical RPG’s. The third Valkyrie Profile (Covenent of the Plume) ended up being a tactics game and it more than made up for the horror of Valkyrie Profile 2. Atlus released a GOTY candidate in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor. Jagged Alliance wasn’t offensive, and the only real stumbling block appeared to be the new Suikoden game. It’s this revitalization that made me interested in this game, even though there was almost no press, screenshots or information available about the game.

I also have a thing for the Norse Gods. What can I say, I love my folklore. VPIII did a great job with using the Norse Gods as a backdrop for their tactical RPG, so I thought this would be a fun comparison, even though I couldn’t think of a single game developer Gung Ho had made before this. But what the hell, right? Part of this job is trying new things and hopefully find a diamond in the rough. Was Hero’s Saga just that…or was this a game that Aksys didn’t publicize for a reason?

Weird Week So Far

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

1. Sleeping has been weird as of late. I woke up Sunday morning to feel my top sheet slowly being pulled off the bed from something at the foot of it. Now I sleep with my head under the covers due to light sensitivity but I could see through my sheet both bunnies were on the opposite side of the room. This caused me to leap out of bed like you wouldn’t believe. Then last night Baby was on hyper pills as she was running all over nonstop, jumping on things, jumping through things. Run run run little hare, run. Chewie eventually sat on her to calm her down.

2. After a week and a half of not working out due to a pulled something or other in my arm, I’ve started back up. I’m changing the workout so I don’t destroy anything. Day 1 is now running for 30 minutes along with the ab wheel and situps. Day 2 is 30 minutes of cardio boxing along with the ab wheel and situps and Day 3 is rest day. So I’m working out 5 days a week at least. With jogging, I’ve been downloading horror stories from librivox for my Ipod. Saturday was The Empty House by Algernon Blackwood for example and today is Spook House by Ambrose Bierce and To Be Read at Dusk by Charles Dickens.

3. SO MANY REVIEWS. Before I go on vacation, I have to review Laeventine Tactics, Bakugan and Marvel Super Hero Squad. Oy.

4. In 8 days I’ll be in Salem. Whoo! Yay for Hallowe’en and my first vacation this calendar year.

DVD of the Day #293 - The X-Files: Season 9

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

And so it ends. I have now watched all of The X-Files It also ended really badly. It’s funny to say this but I learned the following about the series:

1) Chris Carter episodes suck, which is funny, because it is his show
2) The Series is better funny than serious
3) The series is almost fucking awful when it sticks to the alien invasion conspiracy crap
4) If Mulder and Scully hadn’t been in Season 8 and 9 at all and it was just Dogget and Reyes, it would have been MUCH better. I actually liked these two and think the series could have survived had the writers been willing to let these two stand on their own two feet with a new dynamic. Instead almost every episode was Scully saving the day and people saying “What would Mulder do? Mulder is Christ. All hail Mulder.”
5) Doggett and Skinner are my favourite characters throughout the series. Funny that.

This season was pretty bad. Just awful writing across the board. Doggett and Reyes never got a chance to shine. They gave us the stupid ending to a series ever and we see how the whole Mayan calendar = END OF THE WORLD IN 2012 bullshit started. Thanks Chris Carter, you stupid bastard. The X-files went out with a whisper instead of a bang.

Good Episodes:

John Doe: Cliche memory loss episode saved only by Jason Patrick’s acting
Audrey Pauley: Agent Reyes is in a coma with a crazy killer doctor on the loose
Improbable: Is Burt Reynolds God? I think that’s what this episode was saying
Sunshine Days; Not a good episode but it has Bud Bundy, the Brady Bunch and it’s Ben Linus from lost with phenominal reality changing powers! You have no idea how often I expected the smoke monster or some LOST reference.

Note none of these are GOOD per say. There’s just good compared to the rest of the season

WORST Episodes
ANYTHING with Scully’s baby. Shut the fuck up already. Stupidest thing they ever introduced in X-files save for Dana Scully being a fucking Highlander.
4-D: Alternate Universe John Doggett
Jump The Shark: Chris Carter’s typical immature tantrum
The truth: Arguably the worst episode in the entire series

God, what a way to go. The last season is the worst season. isn’t that how it always is?

Is It Worth Keeping? only as part of a box set
Rating: 3/10

DVD of the Day #292 - Beerfest: Unrated (Blu-Ray)

Monday, October 19th, 2009

You know as a person who doesn’t drink and has never even been able to stand the smell of beer, I am surprised at how much I enjoy this film. Sure, it’s a Broken Lizard flick which means it’s got the Super Troopers crew, but this is funny is a very different way from that film. This is a parody of those 1980’s sports films that were just god awful with their sappiness and paint by numbers plots. Here however it’s just five American numbnuts trying to win a super secret beer drinking competition in the dark bowels of Germany that is held during Oktoberfest. It’s just an over the top laugh fest with nothing even close to resembling reality occuring at all throughout this entire film.

It’s not as quotable as Super Troopers. For me it’s pretty much just “He’s got the eye of the Jew!” and “Oh Landfill #2, you’re twice the man Landfill #1 ever was!” However, there’s a lot of great bits with the Germans, such as the trying to choose the name of their mission to retrieve an old hidden recipe which quickly follows into a Das Boot parody. That makes me crack up every time.

I guess if I was a drinker or engaged in beer games, this film would be more amusing to me. I know Vlad and Dave think it’s the best of all the Broken Lizard films. I find it the second best (although I am excited for The Slammin’ Salmon as it has Robin Sparkles) but it’s not in my top twenty comedies of all time. Instead, it’s just a fun little film to whip out occasionally and laugh at.

Is It Worth Keeping? Yes
Rating: 6.5/10

DVD of the Day #291 - Watchmen: Director’s Cut (Blu-Ray)

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Well, they filmed the unfilmable movie. Sure there’s no space squid, but Zack Snyder made this about as close to a shot by shot recreation of the 9 panel Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons goodness as Hollywood could allow. I love this film for what it is: an art film tribute to Alan Moore rather than a straight up super hero action film, and considering the Director’s Cut puts the death of Nite Owl I and the comic book guy back in, it makes the film even better.

Honestly, Rorscarch and Comedian easily do the best job of acting out a comic book character since Christopher Reeve first convinced you a man could fly. The rest of the cast is nowhere as good, but honestly, Rorscarch deserves a best supporting actor nomination simply for the reaction he gets from the audience. I remember seeing this in Imax with Vlad opening night and the entire theatre erupted with cheers when Rorscach reminded the prison he wasn’t locked up with them but they were all locked up with him.

Visually, Watchmen is beautiful and hideous all at once. The costumes are great, the special effects are amazing, 1980’s New York looks god awful in terms of poverty and filth.

Of course the story is amazing. It’s considered one of the greatest written in the English language in the 20th century, if not THE greatest graphic novel. I’m not a big fan of the changing of the climax, and I think this ending is sillier actually, but what can you do?

Watchmen really polarizes those that watch it. I have to say it’s not as good the second time, but then again, I ended up engaging in a bit of consulting adult activity while watching it and then we fell asleep from exhaustion afterwards. Still, it’s a movie that NEEDS to be seen, although you really should read the comic first. The movie really is a tribute to Alan Moore and I wish the dude would watch it, because out of all his works, this one has definitely been treated the best and has been the most faithful with the adaptation.

Is It Worth Keeping? YES
Rating: 8.5/10

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