Monday, October 25, 2010

Gothic 4: ArcaniA

I've not yet played any of the other Gothic games, so I don't know if G4 is like any of the other games. I'll find out eventually, since I got a deal for all four. I figured I would play the newest one first, since I'd played the demo and it seemed interesting and fun, and not terribly tied in to the previous titles. Well, I'm thirteen hours in, now, and I'm pretty comfortable in saying that unless you're a big fan of the Gothic series, or you're starved for an actiony RPG, you can safely skip this game.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Paranormal Activity

Most "these are real people having real things happen to them" movies tend to have a short shelf life. I watched The Blair Witch Project for the first time, recently, and found it a laughable tale of a bunch of morons doing stupid stuff and getting themselves in trouble that they deserved. Even beyond the marketing hype having a short shelf-life, these movies are generally best viewed in theatres, since it's dark, and it's easier to buy in to these things when it's a whole group reinforcing each other. I just picked up Paranormal Activity for cheap from the local rental shop, since for the price of buying it, I could have had it for 3 days. Wow. This movie.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Alan Wake

I'm not much one for suspense/thriller/horror games. I hate jump scares. I find them cheap, and usually greatly telegraphed. They still work for a quick burst of adrenaline though, because there's always a great burst of noise/motion to accompany them. I'm pretty much of the same opinion of horror movies, too. Over-reliance on jump scares dilutes their effectiveness eventually, rendering the game not-scary, and generally just annoys and angers me, to boot. That said, so far, I've really enjoyed Alan Wake. It does have some moments that could be jump scares, if they were pushed a little harder, but not many as far as I've played. Instead, it's done a great job of building the mood, setting the stage, and ramping the tension. I'm not going to discuss plot except as it relates directly to mechanics. Partly so I don't spoil anything, partly because since I'm not finished, I don't think I could really talk intelligently about it without making some wild, and probably incorrect guesses. So with that said...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife

People say a movie like Twilight is review-proof. Well, I`d assume a Resident Evil movie was as well, and I almost didn't bother. Then I got to thinking, Extinction was pretty bad. Bad to the point where some people may have just say "Forget it, I'm not going to bother." And I think that'd be a terrible shame. Afterlife is a great Resident Evil movie. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero

I never played the first Dead Rising. I'm not really sure why. I have recently watched a Let's Play of it, though, so I've got a good grasp of what it was like. Playing Case Zero, if this is what the full game of Dead Rising 2 will be like, it'll be what a sequel should be, the same, but better.

I'll admit now, I apparently suck at this game, so take anything I say with that in mind.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I wanted to like this game. I really did. Running around the city is awesome. Poking around for the collectables is fun. The side missions are rather varied. It reminds me in great part of Spider-man 2 for the X-Box, which I thought was pretty much the best movie-to-game adaptation ever. But I simply cannot get past my frustrations with this game. Prototype is flawed, and to me, fatally so.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Let me preface this review by saying I had absolutely no knowledge of this movie or the Scott Pilgrim universe beyond knowing it was a popular graphic novel, and it had something to do with video games. Let me end the preface by saying I'm pretty sure I still know nothing about the Scott Pilgrim universe, but I know a fair bit about the movie. I'm warning you now, there's going to be spoilers in this review, because the plot to this movie is absolute balls, and if you're seeing it for the plot, you confuse me.

Here's the short form of the review: This movie is terrible, and you should absolutely see it. Cheaply. Do not spend more than $10. In fact, wait for a rental. There's not really much in this movie that benefits from being on the big screen.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fallen Earth (warning: High Jargon Content)

Fallen Earth is an MMORPG that flew under my radar until it was on sale on Steam. I grabbed it, since it was less than $20 for the game, and a free month of gameplay. MMOs are traditionally hard to review, since there's a butt-ton of content, and many places to visit, etc. etc., but Fallen Earth is actually really easy. It's Fallout 3 blended with Everquest II. If you like MMOs and post apocalyptic settings, this is the game for you. There's a few things to keep in mind, though, if you do decide to play (note, I'm only level 18, and the current cap is 50).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Basic is difficult to review. I'm not really sure what genre it fits in to. Drama is probably the closest. Maybe a courtroom drama without a courtroom. In addition to genre confusion, this movie is all about the revelation. Well, revelationS. There is absolutely no way I want to spoil this movie for anyone, because it's best when a first viewing is as blind as possible. Still, I'll do my best to convince you that you need to see this movie.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


So, I watched Hackers for the first time ever, last night. Wow, that is a terrible movie, and anyone who hasn't seen it should absolutely go watch it as soon as humanly possible. Everything about this movie is so ridiculous and insane that anyone who actually knows anything about computers should die laughing. And it's not just the technology and how it works that's so bad, the script is whack, and there's a few questionable cinematography choices to boot. If that's not enough, yes, Angelina Jolie shows her boobs for a half-second, if that's your thing. I don't think it's particularly noteworthy, but if it makes you go watch this movie like you should, fine.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Yeah, Disney's Aladdin. I haven't even thought of this movie in ages, but stumbling across a parody of the "Prince Ali" song put a bee in my bonnet, so I figured, "Why not review it while I rewatch it?" See if I can't peel some nostalgia film off my glasses, or maybe the movie really is that good. If anyone hasn't seen this movie, be careful, I'm gonna be spoiling the crap out of this.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Bought it yesterday, completed it today. Want the short version? Don't buy it at full price. It's competent, even cool, but in no way worth $50. Want the long version? Here we go:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The A-Team

Hollywood does love its remakes, doesn't it? Old movies, new movies, books, and TV shows are all fodder. And remakes often suck. BUT NOT THIS ONE! Heck yeah! This was a completely awesome movie. If you haven't seen it, go. Grab a bunch of friends and have a great time.

Oh fine, if you want to know why it's so awesome, read on.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I wanted to like this movie. I really did. I loved Shaun of the Dead. I figured that "zombie" + "comedy" was a formula that really couldn't be screwed up. Well, I was right. Just turns out they forgot the comedy. Okay, to be fair, there is comedy here, it's just not my kind of comedy, apparently. Nearly every single time I chuckled during this movie was at the stupidity. I even watched this a second time. My initial reaction was that this was the worst movie I'd seen in ages. I've backed off from that, but I think it's still pretty bad.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I love the bargains section of DVD stores. I managed to pick up Bloodsport for $6. This isn't the first Jean Claude Van Damme movie I've talked about (Universal Soldier and Street Fighter being the others), but this is the best. Even the first few minutes are just guys being awesome at martial arts and fighting. One guy breaks ice blocks, another guy jumps up a tree and breaks coconuts with a karate chop. The basic set up of the plot is JCVD is Frank Dux (pronounced Dukes, not Ducks. I'm not sure why it's pronounced that way, nor why they went with that spelling. I guess it's JCVD's thing.), an American soldier who goes on leave to participate in the Kumite for the honour of Tanaka, the guy who taught him martial arts, since Tanaka's son died. That's told in about the first 10 minutes of the film, followed by a  training montage.

Now, here's the catch for the rest of this review: I'm going to be watching it as I'm typing this up. I'm going to stay away from intentional plot spoilers, and just record my impressions with time codes. I haven't seen this movie since about 1990, so this should be interesting...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Alpha Protocol or: How to Abuse Stealth Mechanics

Alpha Protocol (An Espionage RPG) is a new game by Oblivion. Oblivion carries a lot of baggage with them. They're notorious for making buggy sequels to excellent games. Alpha Protocol, however, is new ground. How do they do when they're not working with something someone else created? Well, pretty good, actually. It's far from perfect, but it's a solid game. I'll discuss it in more detail mechanics-wise, but I'm not going to give any plot spoilers.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Resonance of Fate

Hey, it's a game review! And... it's a JRPG. I swear, those aren't the only games I play. Really.
I really enjoyed this game, but I'm not sure I can give it a recommendation. I'd say give it a rental. It's a long game if you want to see all the content, so you won't blow through it in a weekend. I'm up to 40+ hours in my main save, and I'm still not done the story. And that's a nice segue to talking about the game!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


This is a Canadian flick, so I doubt many people are going to get to see it in theatres, or will ever see it in video stores unless they specifically go and look for it, which is a tragedy, because this is an awesome movie. It stars Paul Gross, who most people will remember as Constable Benton Frasier from Due South. He was also in the excellent comedy Men With Brooms. The premise of Gunless is that it takes place in the "Wild West" time period, and Paul Gross plays the "Montana Kid," who has accidentally wandered in to a small town in Canada due to being near unconscious while his horse drags him along for a ride. It ends up that the local blacksmith "steals" Montana's horse, and fixes a problem with the shoes. Montana takes exception to this and challenges him to a duel, but uh oh! Wacky hijinks in that the blacksmith doesn't have a pistol, and no one has one to loan, because, you know, it's CANADA! Turns out one lady has an old, broken pistol that Montana can have, if he agrees to help her. And so there we have the premise of the movie. An American gunfighter stuck in a small Western Canada town, trying to deal with massive culture shock while recovering from injuries and dealing with his checkered past. It's a comedy, but it has some emotional depth to it as well. Paul Gross is a talented actor, and really brings life to this part (I may have a bit of a man-crush on him, shut up!), and it doesn't hurt that he's joined by the excessively amazing likes of Sienna Guillory and Graham Greene, amongst others. I really recommend this movie, but you're probably going to have to work to get to see it. It'll be worth it though, trust me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Iron Man 2

The first Iron Man movie was solid. Good characters, great effects. The weakest part was the villain. The motivation was to... kill Stark, take over the company, and be CEO, raking in the cash? Seriously? You want money, and you jump straight to murder? Stark was a playboy, and very unfocused. I'm sure if you just asked for a raise, he'd give you one. Or try some nice white-collar crime. Embezzlement is very in, lately. But still, despite that, it was a good movie. Does the sequel measure up? Well, yes. The characters are still good, the effects are awesome, and the villains are powerful and clearly motivated this time.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

I avoided the majority of reviews and comments on this one before I went to see it. The only one I saw was by Movie Bob over at the Escapist. Now, this movie unfortunately starts out with two strikes against it.

1) It's a horror movie remake, which kills nearly any chance of it being good immediately,

2) It's a horror movie remake produced by Michael Bay. Now, unlike most people, I like the guy's work most of the time. I liked Transformers, I liked Armageddon. Bay directs big-budget action movies, and you can see where every dollar of that budget has gone. I will readily admit though that the man is as far from horror as it'd be possible to get, and a movie produced by him doesn't stand much better chance at being horror than one directed by him.

So, with two strikes before we even get to the opening credits, does the movie strike out miserably? Or does it rally for a home run? (I am NEVER doing a sports metaphor again, I swear.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Movies like this are why I grew to enjoy Nicholas Cage as an actor. Honestly. This was a great movie. It was a solid blend of action, dark comedy, and pathos. This is just going to be a quick review. I could make it one sentence. "Go see this movie." But I'll expand a little. This movie was bloodier than I expected, but it mostly comes from Big Daddy and Hit Girl. If they're not on-screen, you're fairly safe. Unfortunately, Kick-Ass does get pushed to the side a little in his own movie, but in exchange, you get the awesome action sequences involving Big Daddy and Hit Girl. This is destined to be one of the best superhero movies ever, and probably the among best comic book-based movies, too. As I said, the movie has some rather bloody moments, and the humour gets rather dark at parts, so if you don't mind those, I cannot recommend this movie to you enough.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Capsule Review: Halloween H20


Monday, April 12, 2010

Casino Royale/Quantum of Solace

I'm not a huge fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond. In fact, when he was first announced, I steadfastly called him "What'shisname". I'm past that stage now, and I think I can look at the movies fairly and objectively.

Unfortunately, that doesn't really help these films.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Oh man. I finally bought a copy of Casablanca, and watched it the whole way through. I'd never been able to see it before. The most I saw of it was in Screenwriting class, where we watched the beginning and the end, because we didn't have time to watch the whole thing. And I'll admit right now, I want to be Humphrey Bogart. The man is amazing. That said, how about this movie?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Street Fighter Addendum

I found out there's a director's commentary on this disc. It's buried as the last item on the second page of special features. Holy balls. It's the old laserdisc commentary. Oh boy...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Street Fighter

Oh dear. I don't know why I got this movie. I even paid $10 for it. Heck, it was the last copy on the shelf, too! I'm not sure if that's because other people were as stupid as me, or if they just didn't have more copies because the movie wasn't selling, even at $10. Hell, even my Blu-Ray player didn't want to play this movie. I ended up having to throw it in my XBox in order to watch it. So what did I get myself in to?

If I had to sum up Street Fighter in one word, that word would be "stupid." If I had two words, they would be "incredibly stupid." But luckily, this is a blog, and I get a LOT more than just two words. So here we go...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Final Fantasy XIII

Eh, I liked it.

She's Out of My League

Another movie I've just returned from seeing, and wow, lemme tell you, this one is a doozy.

She's Out of My League is a Romantic Comedy rated 14A (R in the US of A apparently), and let me tell you, I can tell why. So much swearing. So, if you don't mind swearing, SEE THIS MOVIE. However, there are some caveats.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Green Zone

So, I just got back from watching Green Zone, starring Matt Damon, and directed by Paul Greengrass, both of whom were responsible for the excellent Bourne trilogy. The question is, is this movie worth watching, is it a project where the pair won't be embarrassed to have it on their filmography later in their careers?

Well, those are different questions with different answers. Solid entry in their careers? Yes, absolutely. Is it worth watching? How's your tolerance for jingoism?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Universal Soldier

The checkout is an awesome place to discover bargain DVDs. Well, in this case, bargain Blu-Rays. I was originally going to purchase Iron Man for $30. While heading up to the register, I saw The Hunt for Red October for $20. Grabbed that, too. While waiting to pay, though, I saw two movies for $15 each that I just couldn’t pass up, and put Iron Man back on the shelf. The Rundown, starring the Rock, which is an excellent action/comedy flick also featuring Sean William Scott, Rosario Dawson, and Christopher Walkin. It’s rather mindless, but in a good way.

The last one I found was an amazing discovery. I have trouble believing it was even ported over to Blu-ray. An early 90s action flick starring everyone’s favourite incomprehensible foreign action star... No, not Arnold, the other one. No, Stallone’s American. Yes! Jean Claude Van Damme! The movie? Universal Soldier!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The First Review!

I thought long and hard about what my first review should be. After all, it'd help set the tone for the blog. Would I do a good movie, and thus solidify my credentials as being able to pick out things that are done well? Pick my favourite movie, and give an insight in to my psyche? Do a horrible movie, and join the ranks of critics deservedly slamming bad movies? What genre? Comedy? (Comedy's a horrible choice for a review, since humour's such an individual taste, I think) Action? Well, I decided to give my sarcasm muscles a flex and pick a bad horror movie!

And this one's really bad. It's not enough that it's a teen slasher, but they also go include video games in the premise. Now, while I've enjoyed movies based on games, even I'm not crazy enough to think any of them have been good. Even when games are only peripherally involved. But what we have here is the perfect intersection of terrible movies: video games and teen slasher. Even the tag line lets you know in advance what you're in for:
You die in the game, you die for real.
Ooh, I get chills just hearing it. No, wait, that's my fan. Some readers may already know what movie I'm talking about, but for those who haven't, you get one more hint:
Frankie Muniz.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mission Statement

Ha, what a way to start. I had a nice long intro post done up, and then my browser crashed, and I learned that it didn't save a draft of the post. So here's the short version:

The topic of this blog will be film and games. No genre, era, or level of quality will go intentionally untouched. Not all reviews will be negative, either. Any movie I watch, old or new, I intend to at least give an overview of in terms of quality and good/bad points. Any game I play is also fair game. I'll also talk about directors, actors, maybe producers, genres, archetypes, trends. Tangentially related topics are fine. I don't want to overly limit my topics so that I'll not run out of material.

For updating purposes, I won't hold to a set schedule. I plan on once a week, minimum, hopefully, and more often when inspiration strikes. I'll be delving in to my DVD collection for the first few posts, and hopefully that will give some background insight to both me and my collection. I'll even see if I can snap a few photos so that everyone can see just how bizarre my collection is!

Join me next time for the first official review on Celluloid and Silicon.