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Archive for December, 2009

DVD #349 - Haunting on Winchester House

Monday, December 14th, 2009

This is one of the reasons I’m glad I netflix things these days. I use to randomly buy new horror DVD’s in hopes of supporting indie horror, but Horrorfest’s selection of crap and more crap kind of killed that desire dead. Had I know this was a film by “The Asylum” I’d have never picked this up, but what can you do.

First of all, this is supposed to be set in The Winchester House in California, but it looks nothing like it. To make it worse, this is just an ordinary sprawling house and not a wacky maze like the real thing. That kind of kills the suspension of disbelief right there.

Here’s the plot. This family looses their baby so mom, dad and young girl pack it up and becomes caretakers for the Winchester Mansion. When they get their they learnt he cartaker’s cottage is under repairs so they get to stay in the main house. Then the ghost of Sarah Winchester, who built the house in the first place comes and kidnaps their little girl and takes her into the void ala Poltergeist. Together with this black parapsychologist sporting one hell of an afro, the couple tries to get their daughter back, survive Sarah Winchester and all the ghosts that were killed by the Winchester rifle.

Of course they do and then the movie ends with the SHOCKING TWIST ENDING…which was actually good and unexpected even though in retrospect they reallly set up the clues for it. It’s just too bad every other aspect of the movie from the acting to the special effect was god awful. In fact, this felt like a Hallmark Channel made for TV movie with a complete lack of gore, violence or even scares. It’s like “Baby’s First Bad Horror Film.”

Maybe someday The Asylum will make a good horror film, but this sure isn’t it.

Is It Worth Keeping? no
Rating: 3/10

Review #325

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Rush Rush Rally Racing
Developer: Senile Team
Publisher: Redspot Games
Genre: Racing
Release Date: 11/03/2009

It’s been a good year for the Dreamcast. I’ve already reviewed the first two releases for the system this year in Dux and Last Hope: Pink Bullets. Now it’s time to review the third release of the year, Rush Rush Rally Racing. I did an interview with the developers, Senile Team, back in September and even though I’m not a racing game fan, I found myself pretty excited for this release.

Of course, it’s also a Redspot Game release, and I remember having the same enthusiasm last year for Wind and Water Puzzle Battles and being pretty let down. With Rush Rush Rally Racing continue the trend of mediocre Redspot Games releases or will it continue the trend of a pretty good 10th anniversary for the ol’ Sega Dreamcast?
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DVD of the Day #348 - The Pink Panther & Friends: The Inspector

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Much like The Ant & The Aardvark, this was a cartoon I loved as a kid, but I’ve since found hasn’t aged well AT ALL. It’s a little sad, but it has been 45 years after all since these were originally made. Scary eh?

This collection features 17 shorts about The Inspector, who is not actually Closeau, but he might as well be. He is teamed with his sidekick Deux-Deux who is a weird mix of Spanish and Mexican and together they bumble through each case where the bad guy either gets the best of them for the whole short, of about 85-90% of the short. The sad thing is it’s usually the same running gag in each short, but with a different ethnicity to make fun of. Sometimes it’s Russian, sometimes it’s French, sometimes it’s Chinese, but it’s still the basic thing.

None of the episodes are very memorable and I actually got bored halfway through. Thank goodness I was using it for exercise. It’s not that this was bad, but seventeen of the same exact plot in a row for two hours in a bit tedious no matter what you’re watching.

This is only really worth watching if you’re a huge fan of the Pink Panther cartoons and especially the Inspector bits in particular. But then again, i considered myself a big fan and this was merely mediocre to me.

Is It Worth Keeping? No
Rating: 5/10

DVD of the Day #347 - Yu Yu Hakusho: Season Two

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

It doesn’t look like I’ll finish the series before the year is up, as I have less than 20 days to go with this. However, I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying YYH even though I really hate Dragon Ball Z.

At first glance they both seem alike. They both feature a cast of characters that constantly gets strong, die and get better, and that talk before having a long fight scene. There’s even a little bit of powering up from time to time and bad guys having a second or third or even fourth form.

The differences though are probably why I enjoy thing.

1. There is a LOT of character development in this series, with people growing, expanding, and changing
2. The fights are better instead of really fast thrown punchs and kicks while flying.
3. Cooler enemies and more shades of grey than a simple black and white good Vs. evil schtick
4. Better comic relief
5. No aliens
6. Lots of Japanese folklore instead of a rape of the Son goku story.

Is it the greatest anime series ever? Oh no, by no means. I can think of a dozen I’d rather watch, but this is still fun and great workout background noise. I’m not sure why i enjoy this as much as I do, especially as I remember hating the first few episodes when it debuted on Adult Swim in 2000-2001, but now I’m really having fun with it.

Is It Worth keeping? Yes
Rating: 6.5/10

DVD of the Day #346 - Lost Tapes: Season One

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Ah, another bad Netflix choice. At least it saved me from BUYING this. A pity too, because on paper this sounded great. It’s a collection of faux documentaries ala Blair Witch where people encounter folkloric or legendary monsters ranging from Hellhounds and Yeti to giant fresh water octopi and the like. However, I failed to take three things under account.

1) This is an Animal Planet Production
2) Discovery Corp. owns Animal Planet
3) Discovery makes some of the worst faux documentaries/re-creations ever and seems to pick from a pool of actors you would otherwise see in a dinner theatre. Just look at all the “A Haunting” shows they do. God fucking awful.

This was five hours of bad 23 minute fake documentaries after another. At no point were they any good due to horrible special effects and even worse acting. My favourite is probably the hellhound episode, because the hellhound was just a rotweiller with bad CGI eyes that would sometimes slide off the eyes of the actual dog. Even better, this was about a bunch of goths giving a new girl an initiation into their “sect.” It’s even more hilarious because the new girl just MIGHT have been a demoness. Ho ho ho. Holy shit was this bad.

This is the problem with so many channels of television these days. twenty years ago shit like this wouldn’t be able to find a home or an audience. This is so low budget it should be on Cable Access.

The only thing I did like was the occasional cutaways from the “documentaries” to show actual pieces of lore about the creatures featured in each episodes. I’d have rather seen straight up documentaries like that than these. Maybe Cloverfield is to blame. Who knows?

Is It Worth Keeping? No
Rating: 3/10

DVD of the Day #345 - Blood: The Last Vampire

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Okay, maybe it’s just because I had to watch Stan Helsing the day before this, but this wasn’t god awful. We all know I HATE the anime, and I’m not sure why I gave the live action film a chance, but I did and I can’t say I hated IT.

This is a 90 minute film with the first 30 minutes somewhat echoing the anime, but with a better plot, less drivel and better acting. Of course, I need to point out the acting in this is sub-par for a lot of the film, so this should tell you how bad the anime is… In this film we get a lot more back story to Saya, the vampire, why she hunts monsters and how she is out for revenge against Onigen who is the leaders of demons and who killed her father. Oddly enough in this live action film Saya is a demon too instead of vampires being the middle ground between humans and demons. However she’s half human, half-demon, so I guess they’re going that route.

The movie takes place in Vietnam during the Vietnam War just like the film, but once you get off the Air Force Base, it’s like we’ve somehow driven across the ocean to Japan. Instead of the annoying teacher from the anime, we have Alice, the daughter of the general on the base. Along with Saya, she is the only good actress although much of her role is screaming and running from monsters, so I suppose it’s not a hard role to succeed at.

The special effects are god awful. CGI blood is NEVER a good idea people. The true demon forms are hilariously bad too. Remember Firebrand from Capcom’s Gargoyle’s Quest? Yeah, that’s what they look like. The special effects are straight out of the late 1980’s to early 1990’s and it just brings the whole film down. What saves the film are the fun martial arts scenes and the shitload of demons being killed. I lost count at over 100. That’s a pretty nice sized body count for a horror film.

Basically this is your run of the mill B-Movie. It’s got some bad actors, especially the two evil girls at the beginning from the original anime. Oh man are they shittastic, but several of the lead demons (albeit not THE leader), Saya and Alice do a good job. I liked the fleshed out story, even though it is totally paint by numbers and generic. The action saves the film, but then the horrible special effects and CGI bring it right back down.

The movie’s not horrible or offensive; it’s just mediocre.

Is It Worth keeping? No
Rating: 4/10

Top Ten Video game Vampires Of All Time

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Only at Diehard GameFAN.

Usually I hate writing top ten lists, but with the resurgance in vampire stuff I’ve had to write lately, I decided to do this for the fun and to keep me fresh. Check it out.

DVD of the Day #344 - Stan Helsing

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Oh my god was this awful. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be a comedy but I didn’t laugh once. It was that bad. The movie had no real direction or plot. It was rated R yet there was no nudity, gore, or violence so I’m wondering how that happened. It’s just a third rate script from the Scary Movie and Soul Plane guys. Stan Helsing makes those aforementioned films look AMAZING.

Okay, there’s this guy named Stan Helsing who works at Schlockbuster. He and his friends are going to go to a kickin’ Hallowe’en party, but he had to take some movies to the mother of the store’s owner. Okay, plot device. For some reason though a whigger version fo Freedy Krueger, an orthodox jewish Michael Meyers and Darthead (Pinhead) are stalking him. Why? We never learn. On the way to the party Stan and his friends accidentally hit a dog, watch Chuckie give a little kid a hummer, are taped going to the bathroom by a Native American and a Hippie and then eventually get to the Mother’s house (even though she’s never brought up or seen) where it appears she lives on an old movie studio backlot that was turned into a town until ten years ago where it was burned to the ground by monsters and now it’s a gay porn studio. Also Leslie Neilsen in drag in the leader of the survivors of the old town.

Nothing makes sense. That’s all I can say. it’s not funny, it’s not enjoyable. This is like something that Mad Magazine and National Lampoon both turned down. There are some Karaoke for some strange reason as the climax of the film, but these are neither funny nor good. “YMCA” as “S-T-A-N?” Holy god was it awful.

This is one of the worst comedies I’ve ever seen. This thing makes Meet the Spartans look like Airplane. Look I’ve seen a lot of bad movies. I LIKE a lot of bad movies. I’ve seen every Police Academy. I own films by Charles Band. I can find the good in Carnosaur! Stan Helsing though? Good god, this is one of the worst comedies ever. It’s not as bad as indie drek like Gothkill, but whoever okayed this at a major studio and spent millions of dollars on making this film needs to be dragged out into the street and shot. Oh god, this film was so bad I just made a veiled reference to Garfield.

Don’t see this. Please don’t see this.

Is it Worth Keeping? NO
Rating: 1/10

DVD of the Day #343 - The Assemblage of the Crystal Sphere: A D&D Story

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

No no no no no. After Gamers and Dorkness Rising and Darkon and Monster Camp, I thought this would be another enjoyable wacky film about gamers. No. it was a nearly two hour film of people role playing. Actually roleplaying. Table top style. Just sitting around a table and rolling dice or talking about their characters and the group dynamics and why they have been playing for five years with their now 30-ish level characters. Oh my god, kill me now.

It was so boring. I think it was meant to be a mocumentary, but it wasn’t funny except for the guy who hated WoTC and that only came up twice and had little bearing on the thing. it just simply wasn’t funny. it was boring. TWO HOURS OF WATCHING PEOPLE TABLE TOP RPG. This was awful beyond words, it really was.

I can’t really say much more about this. How did this get funding. How did this get a DVD release? Who thought there was potential money to be made from watching people playing 3rd Edition D&D? Wow, this was so bad on so many levels. The worst RPG related documentary like thing I’ve ever watched. I think the second D&D movie Vlad made me watch was better and we couldn’t even finish that shitburger.

Is It Worth Keeping? Thank fuck I netflixed this. Is that even a word? Netflixed?

Rating: 2/10

DVD of the Day #342 - Free Enterprise

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Wow, this was a fucking awful film. None of the characters were likeable and they were all such nerds I think I’d have punched them in real life.

Look, I’m not good with uber geek, dorks or nerds. I have some interests that cross over with them, but it’s all a casual interest. I’m a casual gamer, but I’m good at writing so companies send me free stuff instead of the geeks who foam at the mouth and can’t write for shit. I like Pokemon, but contrary to popular belief it’s just a like. Almost all the Pokemon stuff I have was given to me. I liked roleplaying as a kid but I hate most RPG’ers. The problem is I don’t do obsession. I can’t obsess on a single thing and define my intire personality on that one shallow dimension. People that do annoy me like no other and that’s all this movie was. Geeks who obsess about Star Trek and then wonder why they can’t hold a job or have a functioning relationship. It’d be fine if this movie was about the dangers of limiting your interests or why obsession with pop culture can be a bad thing. It wasn’t. it wasn’t about two slackers and why it should be okay for them to be this nerdy to the point of losing their jobs or shirking every responsibility. These are the type of creepy people that tend to disgust me and why I won’t do Conventions because I always get cornered by the people that have nothing else going on in their lives same for this one tiny thing and that’s all they can talk about.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of people who have nerdy or geeky interests that do OTHER THINGS. They have well rounded personalities and have a happy life. These characters however don’t and as these are the type of people I would like to F-5, so I hated the endless monologues about how girls should understand why buying an old Mego figure is more important than paying rent and how someone shaped their entire life around William Shatner as Kirk. It’s supposed to be a comedy, but at the same time you’re supposed to like and relate to these characters. I couldn’t and so this was 114 minutes of pure hell for me.

Is It Worth Keeping? NO
Rating: 2/10