Mini Review Smorgasboard

ok, the website has been down for awhile and for the last couple of weeks I've been talking mainly about what movies I don't want to see, so I thought I'd start off with some quick reviews of the movies I have seen recently, starting with:

In Good Company: Excellent comedy and commentary on the buisness world and ludicrousness of corporate mergers. Dennis Quaid & Topher Grace have suprisingly good chemistry on screen and they are really what drives the story along with a good performance from Scarlett Johannsen as well.

The Aviator: A great example of how people like Howard Hughes constantly straddled the line between genius and insanity on a near daily basis, and Dicaprio brings it across brillaintly. Also one of the few Alan Alda performances over the last last decade that didn't make me sleepy.

Hitch: Yes, it's a predictable and formulaic romantic comedy, but what romantic comedy isn't? What makes this one of those rare ones that work is two key things: We believe and like Will Smith & Eva Mendes as a couple. They fit and make sense (and you aren't really wondering why one is putting up with the other like so many mismatched romantic couples). And secondly, Will Smith & Kevin James are incredibly funny together, as every scene they are in is pretty much an absolute riot.

Million Dollar Baby: I just finally saw this today, and it seriously ranks as one of the better films of 2004. What could've been a cliched effort about a female Rocky instead makes belivable, real characters you feel for, a great and (mostly) uplifting story, and incredible perfomances from the power trio of Swank, Freeman & Eastwood. The only thing that deflated it a bit for me is the rather shocking ending was spoiled for me awhile ago, so I won't say anything about it here, but it's deifnitely the kind of movie everyone should see.

On the videogame front, I am literally at the end of Suikoden IV, the last save before the final boss, unfotunately it may be awhile before I beat it just because this is a rather cheap boss who unleashes not only extremely powerful spells that majorly damage your entire party, but a cheap ass sleep spell that ALWAYS works. There are few things I hate more than cheap ass spells in rpgs there are no defense against, it's a cheap trick to desperatley try and stretch out the length, rather than let the game flow more naturally and organicly. If I am able to trounce standard enemies in the final dungeon of an rpg, than the boss should be a challenge, but not nearly impossible, which is less & less the case but still annoyingly pops up every now and again.

And finally, the next big rpg in the Xenosaga series comes out tuesday, and while just about any rpg gets me interested, this will definitely be a rent first. The Xenosaga story is scaringly similar to the Star Wars story. While the original, Xenogears, which took place after the newer games in the series (I believe 3 more games are planned which will make it six episodes just like Star Wars as well) is a revered rpg classic. The new Episode One was a huge letdown with an overdone blah story that made little sense a spurious connections to the previous game (sound familiar yet?), now Episode II is coming out, and while the creators claim all the problems have been addressed with much shorter and more relevant cut scenes, revamped battle engine and even new more realistic graphics, reviewers seem to be saying only the hardcore (and somewhat in denial) fans will enjoy this dissapointing entry as well (hey, just like Episode II of Star Wars!), oh well, maybe episode three will finally turn the franchise around (that goes for both Star Wars & Xenosaga)...

No comments: