5/11/2005

Coming Full Circle

I bought my Epsiode III ticket yesterday. I tried not to be optimistic given the last two, but the early critical buz is actually pretty good and the each new preview looks better, so I'm officially extremely pumped for the final movie installment. Not so pumped that I'll be going to a midnight showing or waiting hours in line, but I'm officially excited to see the film.

I also saw Kingdom of Heaven over the weekend, and it was pretty entertaining. Not as good as Gladiator, but far better than Troy. Ridley Scott knows how to make awesome battle scenes. So see in it the theatres, as it will definitely lose something on the small screen.

Tommorow at 9 on MTV, the Xbox 360(the most likely name for MS' new console) is finally going to be officially unveiled to the public(thereby giving me actual reason to watch the channel). Now, pictures have supposedly leaked to several gaming sites already, but I tend not to really trust those sort of things until I see them with my own eyes. And of course, all sort of implications come with this. Console pricing, backwards compatability, etc. The most important aspect being game pricing, as there is an ongoing debate whether or not we are likely to see games rise above the magic $50 barrier they have been at for over a decade to $60 or even $70. On some level, I can see the reasoning behind this, as games are getting more and more costly to produce, but the game industry should take a REAL close look at both the music & movie industry, both of which after a few steady years of rising prices, have suffered some severe backlash, with profits way down. And with games being even more expensive, all but the hardcore will balk at significantly higher prices. I am considered a fairly hardcore gamer, but I'm fairly picky about what I actually buy, it probably only averages out to about 20 games a year out of out the hundreds that come out all year. I'd expect that to drop significantly if the price goes up and the same will probably go for most gamers, especially the casual ones that all companies are vying for. One solution that I think is viable is offering premium downloadable content, but that may also lead to greedy companies not even selling finished gamess & then charging you just so you can get the last few levels. And as far as the next generation blowing us all away, I've seen "footage" of several games so far (Madden 2006, Dark Sector, Alan Wake) and they either look like cheesy tech demos or lacking any sense of artistic creativity. But nothing's really official until E3 next week, so I'll hold off on any real opinions until we see what is actually going on.

Several interesting choices are coming out in theatres this weekend. The one I'm most interested in seeing is Unleashed with Jet Li & Morgan Freeman. Li hasn't really made a good transition into American films, but this looks very promising with lots of good action and an actual story to boot. Kicking & Screaming is Will Ferrel's latest, and while a terrible coach taking over a bad team is hardly anything new, Ferrel is worth seeing in just about anything. Mindhunters, a thriller about a group of profilers trapped by a serial killer who may be one of them seems intruiging, but it was also supposed to be out last summer and got pushed back for some unknown reason. This usually screams bad film.
And finally there is Monster-in-Law, with Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda and Michael Vartan (Alias). While I see some potential here, it seems pretty obvious that this relies far too much on the mother being a complete whackjob, which means this is another thing that would probably be funny as a short sketch but not enough filler for a feature film. Plus, the last good film Lope did was The Cell, which I think was way back in 99'. But I can honestly say I have at least some interest in seeing every major release this weekend, which is a huge change from the last 5 or 6 months.

Ok, that's really all for today, but I intend to be back on Friday with a BIG summer movie preview in addition to my usual thoughts on daily happenings.

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