Fast Times at Superhero High

Really not a whole ton to talk about today, so I'll just briefly discuss the movies. First up is Stealth, which looks like some horrible combination of Top Gun and Knight Rider (or possibly 2001). I mean seriously, haven't we had enough of the whole machines gone horribly wrong? And notice that at least from the previews that much like any other machine, it's instantly evil. I also know they are pushing it as a Jamie Foxx film, but that's only cause of Ray. It's not a Jamie Foxx film, he's a supporting player, which means he'll be minimal if not die halfway through the film leaving us with Jessica Biel and the other dude who I am too lazy to look up.

Then there's Must love Dogs with Diane Lane & John Cusack. Now, putting these two wonderful actors in anything is almost enoug hreason to buy a ticket, but this is the same lame ass Sleepless in Seattle crap they've pulled a million times and nothing in the previews seem to indicate anything funny or remotely interesting.

Finally, there is the week's one bright spot-Sky High. The concept of superhero high is a little over the top and since it's a Disney film, probably can't be as edgy as I'd like, but it has a pretty stellar cast, and looks very slick, so I'll definitely check that out this weekend.

That's really about it for today, I'd post more if there was more to post about :), hopefully there'll be some more newsworthy stuff next time!


Jack Thompson is an idiot...

Jack Thompson, for those who don't know, is a sleazeball lawyer who basically is trying to make a career of suing the game industry. He is the nutball of all nutballs. He has been constantly quoted as calling anybody who even dares to disagree with him A Nazi, a towel-head, and much worse. But before last week's historic deicision to make GTA: San Andreas a AO title, he was merely another in a sea of scumbag lawyers attaching himself to the latest trendy thing to censor. Now, that he has declared "victory" over GTA (something he really had nothing to do with, if you can even call it victory over a game that has already sold millions and will be in circulation for years thanks to this publicity), he is leading one of the most screwball causes I've heard in years-Thompson, being backed by of course some idiotic fringe religious group, has attacked the most popular series in PC history-The Sims. Specifically the Sims 2. The reason? Because of the ability to put different looks on your Sims, specifically, make them nude. But it's not really the nudity he's objecting to. He claims the skins make it a "paradise for pedophiles" because they can look at little digitized kids. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? I am literally at a loss for words at the sheer stupidity of this statement. If I ever meet Jack Thompson, I fully promise to beat the holy hell out of him using moves I saw on WWE. How's that for bad influence, jackass?

Moving on, two big press conferences were held by both Sony and Microsoft last week, and the most suprising thing is that no new information was really given. Sure, some more meaningless specs and BS about how their system is superior to all were said, but no announcments of pricing, no release dates, and no gameplay was shown on either system. I know these companies love to piss away their money, but this is ridiculous.

Finally, I did see both Wedding Crashers & The Island this past weekend. Wedding Crashers was absolutely brilliant, not original by any means, but every single actor brought their comedic a-game to the table, and that made it extremely funny. The first 25 minutes of The Island borders on excruciating (real proof that Michael Bay has no idea how to develop story or characters) but as soon as the action gets rolling, it becomes an excellent action film, so I'd reccomend it.

That's really all for now, but I'll hopefully be back tommorow...


Remember kids, massive sweraing and homicidal violence is ok, but we draw the line at sex!

This post is quite a bit later than I expected to do it, but given the big news this week of GTA: San Andreas being the first major game to get an Adults Only rating, I wanted to wait for all the initial reactions to come out and see what progessed before I posted my thoughts on the subject. Now, if you weren't aware, this is all due to some creative programmers with too much time in their hands that discovered some leftover code that the public was never really meant to see. Rockstar, acting much like our current administration, started out by blantantly lying that it was strictly the work of some hackers, but finally admitted that it was something left in the game after mounting evidence had piled up. Now granted, probably less than one percent of people who actually own the game would actually get this hack, but odds are at least of few of them would be kids, which would make GTA a bigger scapegoat than it already is. And bottom line, Rockstar dropped the ball here. They should be punished in the wallet, where it hurts them the most. But the reasoning behind the new rating is pretty goddamn spurious. Seriously, this is already a game where you can mercilessly beat the hell out of innocent people, have sex with hookers and run them over, as well as run your own drug cartel. But one little minigame pushes it up a whole level? Right. The game probably should've been rated AO to begin with, but that's the kiss of death since no major retailer will carry it, and money talks.

Moving on to movies; we have yet another unecessary remake in The Bad News Bears. My guess is that this will be worth it just for Billy Bob Thorton, as he is possibly the only one who could do justice to a role the great Walter Matthau defined. That being said, I'll wait for video.

And then there is The Island. Now either you love Michael Bay's cheesy action formula, or you think he's pretty much responsible for the downfall of Hollywood in terms of creativity. He made some true stinkers the past few years (namely Bad Boys II & Pearl Harbor), but The Island seems to have him back in his element and back on track. I'm seeing it tommorow so I'll let you know.

And that's pretty much it for today. It's been a hectic weekend, but hopefully I'll get another post in Monday to write about anything I might've skipped over.


CG killed the Animation star

Traditional animation has been just barely hanging on for awhile now (I think what officially killed bid budget animation films was Treasure Planet, brilliantly animated but a horrid film). More and more TV shows are cropping up as CG style (which in my opinion mostly looks blocky and awkward), but I always figured that the right movie could bring it back to the fore front (even Pixar heads said they'd be willing to do traditional animation for the right film).
Now, two movies have been announced that seem like a perfect fit for traditional animation, but instead they are going the CG route because of course, that's what is popular with the little kids now. Both the Smurfs and the Ninja Turtles are coming to the big screen sometime in the future, but it has been announced that they will be CG films, which seems like a poor fit. I really don't think either of these films will have a smooth transition over, and any fans will be annoyed and turned off by the choice, which seems to be a lose-proposition.

I did see Charlie and the Chocolate factory, and while it was quite enjoyable, I did have two major issues. The effects that happen when the kids do something stupid that nearly gets them killed (i.e. Augustus in the Pipe, Violet blowing up like a blueberry) seemed far more fake than the pratical effects used in tghe original, and Charlie seemed to win more by sheer luck than character in this version. But I still highly reccomend it overall. I didn't really get around to seeing Wedding Crashers yet, I figure I'll do it Friday at the latest.

That's really all for now (slow news week so far), but I'll be back by Thursday with thoughts on this weekend's movies.


A Chocolate Factory by any other name...

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is pretty much sacred ground. Lord only knows who would dare even attempt to remake it, and of course the question is why bother? This isn't like the several bad versions of Dune that exist out there, they got it perfect the first time. But, if anybody's got the stuff to make another version and do something different with it and have it not completely suck, it's got to be Tim Burton, the master of wonderfully weird. And someone like Depp is sure to put a unique stamp on the eccentric candyman.

And while I'm interested to see how Charlie & The Chocoalte Factory turns out, I'm actually much more interested in this weekend's other offering-Wedding Crashers with Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson. Why? Because it's the first big budget comedy in a couple of years (I think the last one was American Wedding) that's clearly aimed at a non-middle school audience with an apparently hard-earned R rating. And while guys like Wilson & Vaughn don't need to be raunchy to be funny, it's when they are really allowed to let loose in adult fare that you see their best stuff. It's also good to know that no sacrifices were made for the bottom dollar. I'm really expecting this to be the first great comedy of 2005 (not hard considering the only even good one so far has been Hitch).

In the realm of WHY GOD WHY?!?!?-Sony pictures has apparently greenlighted three more sequels that nobody asked for in the first place. Roadhouse (without Patrick Swayze, because apparently he's too busy being a janitor in a pet store), Hollow Man and I Know What You Did Last Summer are ALL getting sequels. Road House and Hollow man were pathetic, and Last Summer was entertaining, but c'mon it already has one horrible sequel, it doesn't need a second. It's just amazing how people love to burn money in Hollywood. You can't claim brand recognition because they don't have any with these titles, and I doubt anyone who was in these movies and still has a career would bother signing up, so there goes any star power. I would just love to sit in on these pitch meetings where someone came up with this idea, someone else thought it was great, and nobody else in the room had the brains to say "ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE?"

Finally, The primetime emmy nominations were annoucned today, and it was nice to finally see Scrubs and especially Zach Braff get nominated (although John C. McGinley does such a great job as Dr. Cox that he should've also been nominated as well) considering how hard NBC has made it to even find out when the damn show is on. But otherwise there weren't any really good suprises (although I like that the guy from House was nominated, he's awesome, actually he's like Dr. Cox if he was in a drama) and mostly old favorites (only reason Sopranos didn't scoop up all the nominations possible was because it was taking the year off). But I was geniunely delighted and suprised to see Arrested Development win for best comedy last year, so maybe if they start giving awards to shows and people that actually deserve it, I'll start tuning in again.


Yo ho Yo ho a Pirates Life for Me!

Ok, first up, I did see Fantastic 4 over the weekend, and it was actually quite enjoyable. It wasn't quite up their with the cream of the crop like Spider Man or Batman Begins, but it was far better than disasters like Daredevil & the Hulk. It's a fun mindless blockbuster film with a good sense of humor and the entire cast filled their roles surprisingly well (with Chris Evans as the Human Torch being the highlight). I will definitely be buying a ticket for the inevitable sequel (and being that the movie not only did far above expectations, but can be credited with lifiting the box office out of a 19-week slump, it's almost a given).

Any Xbox owner should be forced to walk the plank if they don't do themselves the favor of picking up Sid Meier's Pirates!, which ships out tommorow. I was a HUGE fan of the original version which popped up way back in 1987 and I last played the pretty awesome Genesis version back in 93. I was planning for this to be my last Xbox purchase originally, but I fully plan to pick it up to really test out the 360's backwards compatibility when it comes out in Novemeber. It's the perfect title for anybody who's a fan of ship battles, swashbuckling and/or treasure hunting. And really, how many good pirate titles are out there, anyways?

Although a couple of fairly noteworthy movies are opening this weekend (which I'll talk about later in the week), easily the biggest release of this week (possibly of the whole year) is the new Harry Potter book, The Half-Blood Prince. I unabashedly worship the Harry Potter books. It's one of the few series where I will actually turn off everything in my room (I usually have at least two electronic devices on at any given time) and just read silently for hours. That being said, I'll pick one up this weekend if it's easy to find, otherwise, I may just wait till the hysteria dies down a little, as I've never really been one to do fanatical things like wait days in line or pick things up at midnight (aside from Halo 2, and only because a friend was willing to give me a ride). Course, that's one of the good things about living in a relatively small town, it's probably not gonna be that hard to find :)

I pretty much decided to pass on Killer 7, so you'll have to get word from other sources. Mainly because of just about every review, even the positive ones, ask you to look at the game strictly as "art in gaming" not as an actual game. Well, I'm sorry to be a spoilsport on edginess and creativity, but I believe that a game can have good, involving gameplay and also be a good artistic expression as well (i.e. Pyschonauts or Viewtiful Joe). I want art, I'll go to a museum (hell, there's even a gaming art exhibition touring right now called "I am 8-bit").

And lastly, I'd like to leave you with a better look into the diseased mind that is Uwe Boll.



The whole "bring me the head" line may become a runner if enough people start pissing me off, and this is a LONG overdue one. Uwe Boll is the talentless prick who brought us the unimaginable horrors House of the Dead & Alone in the Dark. Now, I wasn't as mad about these horrible films as most people because of two main reasons. First, they were both based on practically dead game series that weren't that noteworthy to begin with. Second, it's not like he was hurting any good actor's career (Christian Slater & Stephen Dorff have been barely hanging on to their career for years, Alone in the Dark was just a possible final nail in the coffin).

But with only two major films under his belt, Boll has officially become one of the most reviled directors in history, with MANY websites and columns continually pleading or threatening him to stop making films, and with his latest projects and announcements, I am officially on the bandwagon.

First up is the movie Bloodrayne. Now, while I am not a big fan of this game series, it has some potential as a fun action film with it's interesting mix of Vampires and Nazis (in the games, Bloodrayne is actually a good vampire that hunts down evil Nazis). But of course Boll is making the biggest mistake he can by completely ignoring the storyline and instead making it some lame tale about Bloodrayne taking on her vampire father. The real kicker? Her vampire father is Ghandi! No, not the character of Ghandi(though at this point, it wouldn't suprise me), but the actor who is best known for portraying him-Ben Kingsley! That's right, Uwe Boll has somehow blackmailed Ben FUCKING Kingsley into one of his movies (although with his last two movies being Thunderbirds & Suspect Zero, Kingsley may have just lost it completely). And that's not all! Kristanna Loken, Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez and Billy Zane are all in this certifiable brain hemmorage of a movie.

Then there is the recently announced cast for the Dungeon Siege movie. Jason Statham, Ron Pearlman, Lelee Sobieski & John Rhys-Davies have all signed on the dotted line (and Loken is in this one as well). Let's keep in mind that his movies combined have not even grossed $20 million! How is this guy getting all these films and mostly talented actors other than witchcraft?!?

And that's hardly the end of it. He's snapped up the filiming rights for Far Cry, Fear Effect, and Hunter the Reckoning. He's also mentioned in at least one interview he'd like to destroy several other popular franchises, specifically naming Hitman & Warcraft.

I think we should all start running a pool on who's career could actually survive a Uwe Boll film (although apparently Boll's own career is thriving through some sort of evil ritual where he sacrifices 10 bunnies a night to his dark gods).


What's better than Halo 2? MORE HALO 2!!!!

Most of my gamer friends know that although I've been trying to keep myself busy with whatever games PS2 currently has to offer, I've definitely been suffering Xbox live withdrawal in a major way, and it's really hit bad this week with the release of the Halo 2 expansion pack. For $12.00 online you get a bunch of new maps to play with that should massively extend the shelf life of the best FPS of this console generation. And for $20 at your local software dealer, you get all of the recently released maps (although half should be free online by now) along with useless extras like artwork and videos (hey, I appreciate the stuff, but if it'll keep costs down, chuck it!). But the thought that I'll probably be able to get all that stuff for pratically nothing and pick up Halo 2 again for dirt cheap if I feel like it in November (which will probably only happen if Perfect Dark Zero is a letdown) helped calm my nerves a bit.

In the realm of "I want to believe": Although Xbox live was clearly a far superior service, the PS2 had it won hands down in one online arena-The online RPG. Between the Baldur's Gate games, Everquest, the upcoming Phantasy Star Universe and especially FF XI, Xbox gamers were left wondering why our only option has been an old Dreamcast game (Phantasy Star Online). With the 360 focusing even more on it's likely online advantage, rumors are flying about what Live will offer in the online RPG arena. The only confirmed offering is once again, a game that's been available to PS2 and PC owners for a couple of years already-FFXI. But strong rumors for City of Heroes and World of Warcraft along with some other original properties have been floating around. The interesting thing is that Microsoft recently renewed the trademark for their high-profile MMORPG cancellation True Fantasy Live Online. Now granted, this most likely is just because Microsoft just wants to keep the rights so no one else can use them, but we can dream!

Moving on to this weekend's movies, neither of which I have high hopes for. Fantastic Four seems to have a pretty good cast going for it. Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans & Julian McMahon all seem perfect fits for their respective roles. Jessica Alba is a decent actress and undeniably the hottest woman on the planet, but just seems miscast as Sue Richards (maybe in about ten years she could do the role). And although Ioan Gruffudd looks like Reed Richards, he's hardly been tested in terms of carrying a film, with only a major role in the forgettable King Arthur under his belt. Add to that cheesy-looking special effects and a large majority of poor early reviews and it looks like we have the next League of Extraordinary Gentlemen rather than the next X-men.
But it seems like a much better choice than this week's other big release-the latest crappy Japanese horror flick turned into an even crappier American one; Dark Water. And once again we have the latest in a string of high-profile Oscar Winning actors/actresses slumming it in the cheesy horror genre with Jennifer Conelly starring. She must be getting bored of all her acclaim and serious work, either that or it just doesn't pay enough.

That's it for today, but my copy of Killer 7, the latest bizarre release from Capcom (you play a wheel-chair bound assasin who has seven personalities that can manifest themselves, going up against an invisible gang known as the Heaven's Smile, ooookaaayy) should be in my hands by Monday, so I'll definitely have some thoughts on that if nothing else earth-shattering comes up in the entertainment world over the weekend.


Just because you're crazy doesn't mean you're wrong...

Behold the latest pearl of wisdom from Sony's Ken Kutaragi, on the goal of the PS3-“for consumers to think to themselves ‘I will work more hours to buy one’. We want people to feel that they want it, irrespective of anything else.”. This has already caused some ire among gamers and added more fuel for the anti-Sony fanboys, because they rightly believe this means that the PS3 may come out at a ridiculously high price (note that most current rumors point at $400, which doesn't seem unresaonable, but a bit too pricey for my taste, especially when they will most likely drop significantly by next Xmas). Anyone who reads this blog knows that I personally think they need to put a muzzle on Kutaragi, as almost everything he says is paramount to shooting yourself in the foot. But I'm actually defending this statement, because in reality, it is the ultimate goal of all products, especially pricey luxuries like game consoles. Kuturagi just had the balls to say what no one else will. They want you to want the system so bad that you will ignore bills, work longer hours, starve yourself, etc. in order to afford that system if that's what it takes. Company execs would slit their own mother's throats for this kind of brand loyalty, so don't kid yourself that this isn't also what Microsoft and Nintendo really want.

That's really all I have for today, but I'll be back tommorow with thoughts on this weekend's movies and anything else going on in the entertainment world.