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Batoru rowaiaru (2000)
Worst day at school ever
Imagine yourself at 14, maybe 15. You're with your 9th grade class on a field trip. Everyone's having fun, but then in a split second you faint and wake up in a room surrounded by armed gunmen, and you learn that you and your classmates have been chosen to partake in a game of life & multiple deaths.
Guess what? you just entered Battle Royale.
Set in an alternate version of the year 2000, Japan's government is facing a crisis of unemployment and recession. To motivate future students to behave, the government sets up a yearly event, known as the Battle Royale, where a class of students are chosen at random to participate in a battle to the death, pitting friends against friends, lovers against lovers, and forcing timid students to either submit to death or fight to it first.
To be honest, i spent the first 20-25 minutes of this film thinking it was going to be cheesy and i would laugh at the ridiculously exaggerated effects. Soon as Kitano pulled that knife from the girl's head (BTW this is a very messy film, but the mess is nothing compared to the story, which in itself, is absolutely terrifying.) it was like that scene from Jaws where Hooper laughs at Quint's tattoo and suddenly his laughter fades when he realizes what it's from. Everyone in that room either started screaming or crying. As soon as the kids were being called by the cute, bubbly lady from the videotape, that's when i really began to feel uncomfortable watching, and it did not let up until the end.
The acting in this film is superb, Director Kinji fukasaku knew exactly what he wanted. The students express feelings of fear, anger, sadness and insanity almost to a fault. Takeshi Kitano, who westerners know best as Takeshi from Takeshi's Castle AKA MXC from the former spike network, is superb. You can feel his apathy as he speaks to the students before sending them into the game, as a reflection of their apathy towards him.
What is strange however, is his relationship with Noriko, the only student to attend his class on a daily basis. The 2 seem to be closer than friends but not exactly lovers. It might be something a Gaijin (a foreigner) wouldn't understand because i'm not Japanese.
You will either enjoy this film by not enjoying it. It's a terrifying situation that no one would want to be in. It makes you question yourself as a person in modern, civilized times. If you were suddenly thrown into a game of life & death, how would it end for you?
Rambo: Last Blood (2019)
Everyone who sees a Rambo movie should know what they're getting themselves into. It's going to be a messy, messy trip with blood 'n guts everywhere. And this film doesn't provide that on a discount. You want to watch bad guys die in the most gruesome, messed up ways possible? Here ya go.
John Rambo has been living with an adoptive family for 10 years, and spends his time trying to keep his demons from his past at bay. One day, his adoptive daughter decides to go look for her father in Mexico and doesn't return, leading Rambo to go find the only family he's got left, and to bring out the killing machine that lives within him.
The initial reviews of this film are more ridiculous than a runway outfit. They say this film promotes a republican's agenda of border security. Well I'm gonna say it out loud, libs - The cartel and a lot of Mexican gangs are exactly as they are portrayed in the films. They have done worse things than what Rambo does to them in the films, because Rambo is about killing his enemies quickly, whereas the cartel wants their victims to suffer and they want to scare anyone from stopping them.
This movie isn't meant to push a political agenda. it's meant to send our favorite mentally unstable Vietnam veteran on his way. Sly rocks the role even as an old man and i'm glad he's doing so. As sad as it is to see one of my favorite film series end with the original actor still in the role, It's great to see it end on such a good note.
Cobra Kai (2018)
Watch First, Watch hard, Youtube Premium, yes
In order to make me spend 12 bucks a month (Canadian) on something, it had better be something special. In that case, Cobra Kai was that something special. 2 free episodes in, I was hooked.
34 years after Daniel LaRusso kicked Johnny in the face to win a trophy, His rival, Johnny Lawrence has gone the way of a drunk bachelor, while Daniel seems to be doing financially well. However, Daniel's life is deceiving. While Daniel may have money, he has a wild teen daughter, and a spoiled, disrespectful 10 year old son. Meanwhile, Johnny Lawrence lives his life pathetically, until one night he is goaded into rescuing a weak teen from 5 neighborhood bullies. The boy he rescues asks him to train him. Johnny does so, but does it in the Cobra Kai way, at the same time, Reopening his sensei's dojo.
However, old wounds are reopened after Daniel LaRusso is told that his former enemy "attacked" 5 teens outside of a mini mall. After a confrontation at the Cobra Kai Dojo, a classic rivalry heats up, spanning over 10 episodes in which old rivals switch roles, where one becomes the underdog, and the other becomes the bully.
One thing I love about Cobra Kai is watching a bunch of misfit teens become one as the Cobra Kai. To watch these characters grow in confidence and strength is a real pleasure. My favorite character to watch is Eli, or as he comes to call himself "Hawk" and what makes him special to me is the moment he says "he's on the spectrum" which is also myself, with Asperger's Syndrome. in that sense, it sends a message to kids who have been told they are "special" or "different" and can still be strong enough to walk in the world.
So far this show is a fun ride. I almost never binge watch anything, but binged on this in one day. it is that good.
A mirror image of life in general.
A lot of us movie-goers are either working class heroes or middle-class warriors. Barely any of us will truly understand what it is like to be a superhero or a millionaire. Most of us just live in a rat race full of others just like us; Blue collared laborers trying to make it to tommorow.
Rocky is just like a lot of us - he's a 30 year old high school dropout who lives on simple things, but his perk is that he likes fighting as a hobby. However, despite the fact he is good at it, He never pursues it into a profession, much to the disdain of his trainer, Mickey. However, one day, the World Heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed realizes all the contenders for his title are either injured, out of shape, or scared of him. However, he has put so much energy into promoting a fight for the american bicentennial birthday, he becomes desperate for a challenger, and hoping for a safe bet, reads Rocky's moniker, the Italian Stallion and wants him to fight, insuring himself an easy victory. However, Rocky sees this as his chance to prove that he's "Not just another bum from the neighborhood."
Rocky has actually held up very well in the 40+ years since it's release. It's tough for a movie to age well but Rocky does just fine. The gritty, mean, dirty feel of downtown philadelphia still holds up today, as many of us have seen those types of gritty, broken down neighborhoods in our time.
As for the acting, Sylvester Stallone knew exactly what he wanted in the Rocky character and he was right to argue for the right to play the role. His co-stars Burt Young, who plays Paulie, Rocky's drunk, lazy, lethargic but loyal friend, is also very spot on in attitude and in looks. Talia Shire, who stars as Rocky's love interest Adrian, plays the fragile, shy virgin girl who over the next few movies, grows stronger, almost as if Rocky's positive attitude rubs off on her over time. Burgess Meredith plays Mickey, a bitter old trainer who feels that Rocky is a waste of time, but thinks he might change his attitude after being given a world title shot. And the World Champion Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, is an almost exact duplicate of the legendary fighter, Muhammad Ali. To put it bluntly, EVERYONE in this film knows exactly who they're trying to be, and they do it flawlessly.
Bill Conti's score will forever be timeless in this film. Everyone at some point has to have heard the Rocky theme song, which will forever stand out as a masterpiece. Every song and musical piece conveys emotions extremely well, from the somber & unsure "Philadelphia morning" to the powerful, emotional, and motivational "Going the Distance."
If you haven't seen this film before, you are truly missing out. There's a reason this movie is in the top 250 on the IMDb and odds are it's going to stay there for a very, very long time.
If this movie were a flavor, it would be vanilla.
First of all, I can tell you what this movie is in one sentence - The Karate Kid, with no swearing, no karate, and no one who really cared...with a little dash of Rocky.
Knockout is a low-budget, TV movie for the family channel knockoff of the karate kid, just with Boxing replacing Karate. And if you haven't seen The Karate Kid, i strongly suggest you watch it (The '84 edition and it's '86 sequel are great coming-of-age films.) before watching this. Trust me, you don't want to watch this first, then karate kid and call Karate kid "A good rip-off" of Knockout.
Matt Miller (Daniel Magder) is a 15-year old who is thrust out of his comfortable life to go to Aldergrove, a small, nowhere special type of town. (Actually, Aldergrove is a neighborhood in Langley, British Columbia, less than an hour's drive away from my hometown.) His mother has started a new life after her husband has left the family, and it's not clear whether he is dead or it was a divorce, but if it's a rip-off of TKK, most likely he has died. Upon entering school, Matt makes 2 friends and thanks to a dare from one of them, he makes an enemy of school jock, Hector, who also happens to be a boxing prodigy. As Hector repeatedly harrasses and bullies Matt, the school Janitor, Dan Barnes (Stone Cold Steve Austin) becomes aware of it, and winds up training Matt to fight to protect himself.
Yep, it's karate kid through and through. Matt Miller is Daniel LaRusso, Dan Barnes is Mr. Miyagi, Hector is Johnny, Ruby is Alie, and Coach Harward is Kreese.
First of all, the acting is really bad. While you may think since Stone Cold Steve Austin is a good actor, he might have carried the film? Sure. He's the best actor in the movie, and he was phoning it in pretty much the whole time. It's almost as if the director was scared to ask him to re-shoot his scenes in fear of Austin walking off the set thinking it was a waste of his time.
Or maybe he was scared of SCSA giving him a stone cold stunner and drinking a steveweiser over his fallen carcass.
The main star, Daniel Magder, has about as much skill in acting as a pornstar does. He's either overacting, or not acting well enough. He can't get that balanced throughout the movie. his banter with SCSA feels like he's reading it off the script and it doesn't come off natural. His arguements with his mother and father are hardly believable. I can see why this guy got roles with shows on the family channel.
But by far, the worst part is the script. It's one of the most skeletal, vanilla flavored, boring scripts I can think of. And when i say vanilla, i mean the supermarket-branded vanilla flavored ice cream. It's not as good as the breyer's or the chapman's brand. Every word, phrase is either cliche or laughable. (Seriously, How many high school kids call someone a birdbrain?) And remember how i said "family channel" film? How can you give a role to SCSA without him saying any H-E Double hockey sticks or those things beavers build?
So why did I buy this movie for 3 dollars at a Dollarama? Because Stone Cold Steve Austin was on the cover.
Oh, God! (1977)
If you could talk to god, What would you say?
I think at one or another, everyone one of us has wanted to just have a 10-minute conversation with God. This mysterious being we've heard about first in sunday school, were taught to fear in our puberty, questioned in our youth, and for some of us, disbelieved in our adulthood. This movie is just that. except the lucky one is Jerry Landers.
John Denver plays Jerry landers, your average human being. A man who has a wife, 2 kids, and a supermarket job to support the family. One day, he is given the chance to do something most of us have fantasised at least once; the chance to talk with God, played by golden-age comedian, George Burns. God's request to Jerry, is to tell the world "That he exists, and that we have everything to make it work." however, Jerry's family, co-workers, and other associates don't believe him, and they start to believe he's lost his mind, and for Grocery Store supervisors, it's not an uncommon fate.
To start, let me say that I really hope God is exactly like George Burns. He's spot on. he's funny, witty, and not only that, caring and loving. The image of God in the eyes of many is that of a long-bearded, balding angry old man. It's a repulsive vision. George Burns was really a true comedian and as the VHS sleeve says "at 82, He makes the role his own." John Denver plays the role of Jerry Landers very well. Anyone in his position would feel the same exact way in real life. Teri Garr plays Jerry Lander's wife, and Miss Garr was great in every role she did (Not to mention a good looking woman.) Paul Sorvino and David Ogden Stiers also have roles in this film, 2 of my favorite actors.
If you're of christian faith, I'd recommend this one.
No. just no. This should not exist.
I for one am one of those kids who grew up in the christian fundamentalist household, and let me tell you, the stuff we got to watch. But by far, the video that has left me the "Psaltiest" with pun totally intended, was Psalty's Salvation Celebration.
The story begins with Psalty, Shelly, and shelley's newly converted friends marching through a jungle, getting captured by cannibals (Very kid friendly at the start) But we wind up going back 2 weeks, where Psalty, and his star performer Shelley and a group of kids he knows are about to take a trip through the U.S. by train to perform shows at various cities. tagging along are Charity Churchmouse, and the evil Risky Rat.
First Problem - It claims to be a movie. A movie is at least 1 hour, 30 minutes long. Maybe they called it a movie because they knew it would be played during sunday school and most sunday school classes don't go longer than an hour, so the prospect of watching a movie that actually ends before the end of sunday school sounds awesome, but it's really not.
Second Problem - Risky Rat. He's the most obvious bad guy in the world yet most of the characters are so dumb they never catch onto him. Also, he's the only character who spends most of his time interacting with the audience, mostly to draw heel heat in case you haven't figured out he's the bad guy.
Third problem - The unrealistic portrayal of faith. Psalty is Christian. Like very Christian. He's so Christian he's Ned Flanders in a blue book suit. How many kids can actually relate to the guy? not many. On top of that, Psalty's attitude is so reflective of that other character, who sings songs, wears a polyester smile...oh yeah, Barney. Psalty is basically a Christian Barney.
There's lots more, but i can't talk about all of it. To sum this one up, this was a bad memory for a lot of us christian kids who had to deal with fundamentalist upbringings. We look back on this and either laugh about how cheesy it was, or how much we felt like we were being brainwashed. Watch it if you like, but expect a lot of cringing.
To say that a 1960's TV show is still relevant is hit and miss for most shows.
Then "Opie and the spoiled kid" comes along, and the extreme relevance to modern time not only hits the mark....it destroys the mark into a million pieces. This episode still holds it's morals as well as it did in 1963.
The angle of this story is comparing the lives of that of a spoiled child to that of a discliplined one. But it's not truly aimed at kids, it's more or less aimed at the parents. Andy's best line throughout the whole episode is "If we don't teach children how to behave in society, what's gonna happen to them when they grow up?"
Now the kid who plays Arnold (Ronnie Dapo) is spot on. Like wrestling heel heat spot-on. He plays the role of the spoiled kid so well you want to punch him in his smug little face. Dapo eventually left the acting business as a teenager, quoting he simply "Gave up" and couldn't do it anymore. But maybe that's a good thing. He'll definitely be remembered as the spoiled kid...and in a good way.
It's in the public domain, so it's available for free viewing online. Check it out, you will enjoy it!
Based on a true story
I grew up watching this movie multiple, multiple times as a kid. I had not seen it in probably 15 years when my mother dug it up on Netflix last night and I got to relive this dog-lovers classic. But unlike the last time I watched, I did no research done on the actual true story...but that's for later.
Balto is the story of a half-dog/half-wolf who is the subject of intolerance by the living beings of Nome in the year 1925. Even though he has friends like Boris, the Russian Goose, and Muk & Luk, 2 goofy, fun loving polar bears, He desperately tries to fit in, but no matter what he does, the townsfolk don't trust his wolf side and the dogs of the town wish he would simply cease to exist, especially the vicious husky Steele. But when a sickness overtakes a wave of children in the town, including young Rosie, who's dog Jenna takes a liking to Balto, Balto takes it upon himself to help save the children, with Boris informing him "A dog cannot make this journey alone....but maybe a wolf can."
Now with every "based on a true story" line there's got to be alterations to the story. and some alterations, like adding in comic relief in the form of a Russian goose and a british-accented polar bear are totally acceptable.
But there are details that are left out. For example, The sled run was not made by one dog team, it was actually multiple mushers and 2 leaders - Togo (who we can assume is whom Steele is based upon.) and Balto, a trained, single breed Siberan husky. Togo ran most of the run, but Balto only ran the last leg of the course, and therefore got all the fame. If you really want to know the true story, just dig up the trivia section.
The voice actors do a really good job, although Kevin Bacon sounds too good to play the role of a stray dog like Balto. Bob Hoskins definitely got the Russian snow goose role down very well, although having Robin Williams there would've been really, really fun (But too recognizable...and expensive.) Bridget Fonda for Jenna, She's got the beautiful girl voice. Phil Collins, the guy from Genesis for Muk & Luk, he's not bad but it feels out of place because of his british accent. Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas (Bob & Doug McKenzie) Would've been perfect, but they came later for brother bear. Jim Cummings? What can you say, the guy's a Voice-over legend but you can hear the traces of Tigger in his voice (Tigger from Winnie the pooh, Cummings also provides his voice) And finally, the uncredited Frank Welker as the bear. No really. give him credit. He made a killer angry bear.
Animation-wise, it's very well done. Amblination/DreamWorks always have been able to hold a candle up to Disney (even though Disney's got the firehose to douse it.) look for a cute little reference to E.T. during one scene.
As long as it's still up on Netflix, give this one a view.
"I am not a distraction!"
Oh boy. If this episode aired today (2017) it would cause a school riot, particularly with the provocatively dressed girls who love to hashtag the phrase "I am not a distraction." The message is simple - If you dress differently at school you are a distraction towards others who are trying to concentrate on their schoolwork.
The episode begins with Beaver rushing to his room to get his money to buy a grotesque sweater, along with his friends. They all agree to wear their sweaters to school the next day, but beaver winds up being the only one who does.
Sadly, a 50-year old television show sometimes does not age well, and this episode is an example. Today the school dress code is largely disregarded by both boys and girls and the teachers don't get much support from parents (More than likely, the parents chew out the teachers for punishing their kids.) so if anything, this episode is just a window into American suburbia from the 50's and 60's.
The Tourettes Guy (2005)
To officially dispel any rumors, The Tourettes guy is not real. It's quite possible the actor playing him does indeed have Tourettes and the idea to blow his disorder out of proportion for a laugh seems legit, but it's not.
Also, the official tourettes guy website (That's right, the official one) claimed that "Danny" had passed away in a car accident back in 2007, but he really had just gone to jail (Presumably for a drunk driving incident, because in all his post-2009 videos, he is not driving a car.) and since 2016, has not appeared in any new videos.
So if you're looking for a summary, there really isn't much of one here. It's just a series of videos where this overweight, bald man with tourettes goes about his daily routine, constantly swearing at everyone around him.
It's an entertaining set of videos that went viral in the previous decade, and if you're looking for a chuckle, they're worth a view.
In these times of hardship, just remember....we...are..Groot!
I absolutely love the Guardians of the Galaxy series. No matter who you are there's something for you to enjoy. To go along with Vol. 2, Marvel put together a music video parody of the 70's disco style, featuring actors from the movie dressed up in ridiculous outfits from the era.
In the video, The actors who played the roles of Mantis, Kraglin, Yondu, Drax, Nebula, Gamora, and Starlord all appear in some form throughout the video, as well as David Hasselhoff (As Zardu Hasselfrau) and the movie's director, James Gunn. They all dance around and sing the Guardians theme song in it's Disco form.
Now back in the 70's, When Star wars first came out, Disco was huge. So to bring the 2 together, a group called Meco composed a star wars disco theme record, and it was very, very popular. This video is meant to be a parody of said theme. But it's a very enjoyable parody.
Wonder Woman (2017)
If you've seen Batman vs Superman...you've seen this already
I love Wonder Woman. She's definitely one of my favorite superheroes of all time, right beside Batman, Spiderman, The Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool. But in the case of her movie....it's basically rinse and repeat of every other DC superhero movie ever made, right down to the superhero landing, the epic one-on-one battle with everything blowing up and swords clashing and stuff.
In terms of how accurate it is to the original comics, it gets a lot of things right but a few things wrong. For example, Diana becomes Wonder Woman only after winning the amazon games, Steve Trevor brings Diana to America, not London, and she appears in World War II and not the first world war.
So did I like it? No, I didn't. I wanted to, but I couldn't bring myself to like it. Everything's rinse and repeat from the last DC films, and it doesn't have the humorous approach that marvel movies have taken in the last few years (Deadpool, Guardians 2, and Avengers; Age of Ultron) But that's the thing. It really depends whether you want "comic" book heroes or Comic book "heroes." I don't think it's a bad movie, but I didn't like it. It's exactly like every other DC superhero film i've seen, except in this case, the protagonist has boobs.
Oh yeah, and Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner didn't cameo in this film. Finally! Not that I wouldn't love to see Lynda in a movie...But the cameo thing has been done to death in recent years.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2004)
An entertaining adaption
I sat down and watched this out of pure curiosity. I mean, DiC never let me down before so why would this be any different? It wasn't. This one was actually more faithful to the actual novel than the 1954 Disney adaption, although not entirely accurate. It also threw in something that really was not necessary. Whoever was writing the script must have had Titanic on the mind because the character of Bernadette was almost identical to that of Rose.
Starting in the modern day, 3 young kids go skin diving off the coast of New York and find a treasure chest containing a journal. The journal, is essentially 20,000 leagues under the sea, as told by a young Bernadette, who smuggles herself aboard the Abraham Lincoln after Professor Arronax, his faithful assistant Conseil, and the Canadian Harpoonist Ned Land, who is actually African-Canadian in this adaption. Just a side note, According to the Jules Verne novel, Ned Land is Canadian. It's true, look it up.
Unlike most TV movie animated films, this one isn't all that bad but if it didn't include the romantic subplot between Professor Arronax and his future wife it would've probably been a whole lot better. I'm not against romance but here I had no idea it was a romance until Arronax and his future wife kissed.
Overall, it's definitely worth a view but I still like Disney's adaption better even if it's not even half-accurate to the novel.
A sexy movie that is understandably disliked
Let's get the obvious out of the way. This is a remake of the '89 to '01 TV series, Baywatch. How does Hollywood remake it's classic TV? First, they take what was a serious show and turn it into a comedy. Then, they throw in a few unnecessary F-bombs. Then they include a lot of sex jokes, some of which are funny and others that are just stupid. They usually include one or two cast members from the original show (Of course it's going to be Hasselhoff and Anderson, who else?) And they throw in a bad guy, or in this movie, a bad girl.
And that is how Hollywood does remakes. They did that with Dukes of Hazzard, They did it with Starsky & Hutch, they did it with CHiPs, every remake had the same setup.
Set at Emerald bay, Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is a lifeguard who takes his job seriously. Backed up by the lovely C.J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach) and Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) and a few other co-workers, Mitch is setting up tryouts for the openings to the Baywatch team. While several potential lifeguards are putting an effort into their work, Former Gold Medalist Matt Brody (Zac Efron) is there for his own benefit. He and Mitch are at constant odds, when a series of drug packets, and bodies wind up on the shores of Emerald bay.
To be honest, I enjoyed this movie despite not really seeing the original show. I only watched Baywatch once during it's run. I was 7 years old at the time. It wasn't long after the episode ended I walked around with rigor mortis in my shorts that my mom said I shouldn't watch it anymore.
I can understand why people hate this movie - It takes it's source material, beloved by many just the way it is and dirties it up with a lot of swearing, unnecessary sex humor and other gross material. Some moments are funny, others make you shake your head.
But, I liked it. I'm not saying it's the greatest movie of the summer, because it's not. But it is a fun movie when you don't analyze it too hard. It's a 2-hour trip to the beach where you're going to have fun.
Just don't get caught checking out the lifeguards too much.
Mother 2: Gîgu no gyakushuu (1994)
A game that goes deeper than it's childish look.
At first glance, 1995's Mother 2/Earthbound might seem like a childish game that wouldn't keep a more seasoned gamer occupied. But if someone was brave enough to pay 20$ for a brand new, discounted copy of this game around the time that the 4th generation of video game consoles were fading out, they would've bought a cult classic...and a profitable product - Original, good condition copies of this game top $200 in value in online auctions.
Set in the '90s, Earthbound is the story of a young boy named Ness, who is gifted with Psi powers and is thrust into a quest in the middle of Eagleland (A fictional take on the U.S.A.) to save the world from the evil Giygas.
First of all, This game is loaded with cultural references to a lot of things, from Religion to the Beatles. It rejects Swords in favor of Baseball Bats as weapons, and rejects Potions in favor of Hamburgers for regenerating health. It requires a mind abundant with thought about what to do, but a sense of humor that can determine what is funny and what isn't. And there is lots in the game to laugh at. From the "Parents Opposing Obsession Plan" to the guy who wants to make "Pretty girl paper" and then eating the cake in summers, and finally, fighting master belch, a big pile of barf.
But to look at the game from a different perspective, When you were a child, you would've seen lots of things that didn't make sense that you would see again as an adult, that finally did. This game is a take on that. You are playing as Ness, who is seeing the world for the first time and since he is a child, most of it doesn't make sense at all. This is particularly evident in "Happy-Happy Village" in which all of the members want to paint the world blue. As the player, you realize that part of the game represents a cult that has a goal that seems sensible. But to a child, It looks like a bunch of morons who want to waste their time doing a pointless task.
Thankfully, Nintendo made this game available for $10 on their eShop on the Wii U. That's definitely the best legal option to play this classic...or you could do it the way everyone's been playing SNES games for the last 15 years or so by downloading it for free and playing it on an Emulator.
Either way, go play it. It's definitely worth a few days of your time.
Biohazard 5 (2009)
Favorite of the Resident Evil Series
The Resident Evil/Biohazard games are some of the best experiences a player can have. You're constantly looking over your shoulder to see if there's something behind you and not looking forward to going forward because you just know some maniacal monster wielding a chainsaw is coming to get you.
A few years after the fall of the umbrella corporation, The leftover biological weapons that the corporation created have wound up in the hands of Terrorist organizations.The BSAA (Bio-Security Assessment Alliance.) is formed to deal with this new threat. BSAA Agent Chris Redfield is tasked with going to West Africa to track down a man named Ricardo Irving, with the help of fellow BSAA agent, Sheva Alomar. When they arrive at the Village of Kijuju, Something goes horribly wrong - the villagers begin attacking the agents, and pretty soon, biological monsters join in. Also, Chris Redfield's long lost friend, Jill Valentine, might still be alive.
Where the first few games took place in dark, creepy, spooky environments, this game takes a more grittier approach - in a 3rd world country. and while some may think that it's not as scary as it looks, it's definitely not a place you want to be. Considering how West Africa had an Ebola crisis recently and every form of communicable disease will form in a poverty-stricken village like Kijuju. I find that to be almost as scary, if not scarier, than the dark, spooky mansions the previous games took place.
Also...when this game's trailer debuted back in '07, Almost immediately, people began accusing the game of being 'racist' due to the fact that it showed a white American guy killing African people who were infected by the biological weapons. But the game wasn't even close to racist. Even voice actress Karen Dyer, who gives Sheva her voice, said "This game is not racist, because if it were, I would not be doing it."
I recently picked up the re-release version of this game, which isn't much different than the 360/ps3 versions, other than the faces are more detailed, and the framerate is much more smooth. It also includes more stuff to do, so for $25 it's worth the purchase.
California Highway Patrol does not endorse this film...at all.
I had read other IMDb reviews on this one going in, so I probably should've considered another film elsewhere. But being a bit of a CHiPs fan, i wanted to see how badly the remake factory in Hollywood butchered this one.
The only thing that was lifted from the TV series was the names - Baker & Poncherello and everything else is simply unoriginal. And when i say that, i mean sex and toilet humor. it's all been done before and it's not funny anymore. Even the idea of cameos are unoriginal. You just knew Erik Estrada was gonna pop up somewhere.
The plot is a hackplot - Within the CHP lies a group of corrupt cops. Our heroes have to find out who they are, provided that Jon Baker can stop dwelling on his cheating wife and Ponch can stop dwelling on his desire for sex to the point he has a chronic masturbation problem. I'm not kidding.
Oh yeah, and Jane Kaczmarek? I'm pretty sure she had a body double but her character appears as a topless, sex-depraved cougar in this one. She's also the boys' boss. I'll let you think about that one.
To sum this one up, Hollywood sure loves it's 70's/80's TV show remakes (Baywatch comes out later this year) But i've learned from watching past remakes like Dukes of Hazzard and Starsky & Hutch never to expect much from remakes. just a complete soiling of what made TV back then so classic.
Red Asphalt III (1989)
Certainly the messiest of the Red Asphalt series
The philosophy behind the California Highway Patrol's Red Asphalt series is simple - don't try to reason with people, just scare the hell out of them. Red Asphalt hopes that's what happens to it's viewers, that they are scared out of their wits that they ALWAYS follow the rules of the road.
Red Asphalt III is definitely a relic of it's time (1989) simply by looking at it's presentation - the videos are commentated on by a video editor and a CHP officer, both sitting in front of a giant screen while at apple mcintosh computers. The officer is definitely welcome to talk, but the video editor is as ridiculous as it gets. He exaggerates in a really unbelievable way and almost overreacts to each video he sees.
RA III contains probably the most gore of all the red asphalt videos. If you're into the traces of death series, this is a nice little treat. Scenes in this one include a man who crushes his head and loses his brains, and a teenage girl who winds up face first into her steering wheel, and a few other messy jewels all over the video.
One final note - At the beginning of the video, Maury Hannigan makes an appearance. He's best known for hosting "Real stories of the highway patrol" which was a popular alternative to Cops back in the 90s.
Finally, Remember to buckle up, don't drink alcohol and drive a car, and always, always follow the rules of the road. If you don't, you could wind up in the next Red asphalt video.
Red Asphalt II (1978)
A worthy sequel.
Red asphalt II is the sequel to the original Red Asphalt, put together by the California Highway Patrol to educate new drivers of the dangers of driving unsafe. If you are looking for a great motivator to drive safe, this is definitely worth a view.
The video contains a fair amount of gore and is narrated by various members of the CHP. A lot of them sound very similar to police officers you speak with even today, complete with a touch of dark humour (We'll be there to peel you off the highway.) Some of the gore includes a roadway covered in blood, and a girl whose leg has had it's skin ripped off down to the bone.
This one plus the 3rd one are both my favourites in the series as they blend the reality of careless driving, and a narrative really well (This one does it better, however.) and even today this video holds up well.
What's kind of funny is how many of the CHP officers are talking about wearing safety belts yet they aren't wearing them during driving scenes - in reality they're probably being towed, and not really driving.
Finally, for fans of scary logos, the logo at the end of this video is right up there with the Screen gems "S" from hell, along with really creepy synthesizer behind it. It even uses the same yellow background.
Happy Gilmore (1996)
A Comedy that's only blotched by one single flaw
Adam Sandler, whether you love him or hate him, he still makes movies and this one is arguably his best. He crossed the blue-blooded traditions of golf with the rabid, blue-collared style of hockey, and brings about a comedy that is still loved to this day.
Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) is a failed hockey player who has a sweet heart but a short temper. That, and a slapshot that could send a puck through 6 inches of Kevlar. While his grandmother's house has been repossessed by the IRS, But in his words "A house my grandfather built with his bare hands." Happy learns that his mean slapshot translates into a 400+ yard golf drive, something that has never been seen before. With a few strokes of luck, Happy gets an opportunity to get his grandmother's house back by joining the golf tour, With the support of tour coordinator Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen) and legendary golf pro Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers) but he's got a rival in Shooter McGavin (Christopher MacDonald) the leading money winner who has never won a gold jacket, as well as a lifelong enemy in Price is Right gameshow host, Bob Barker.
Now this movie is downright hilarious. From Happy's antics on the golf course, to his unbelievable showdown with Bob Barker, It is a riot of laughter and humor. But as I mentioned in the summary, There's one single flaw that this movie could've done without.
In-film advertisements. If you didn't notice, Pepsi and Subway commercials are littered throughout the film. The arena where Happy tries out for his local hockey team has Pepsi clocks. Happy brings Subway home for his girlfriend. Shooter asks specifically for a diet Pepsi from Virginia. Happy Gilmore is teamed up with Bob Barker on the Pepsi Pro-Am. Happy gets $50,000 from doing a Subway commercial, and gets free Subway for life. There's Subway logos littered all over the tournament championship course.
And it gets worse - if you watch the heavily censored TV version of this movie, the editors removed almost all of the product references in the movie's dialogue, but the worst edit is the logo on Happy's subway shirt. The editing they did is blatantly obvious. Other movies had obvious product placement in them too (GMC trucks in Lethal Weapon 2, Pepsi in Home Alone, McDonalds in Big Daddy) But here it's overdone.
At any rate, it's a comedy that's achieved a cult status and it's possibly the best film Adam Sandler's ever done. Now if we could all just forget about Jack & Jill.
The mystery of the max headroom pirate
The allure of a mystery can really bring out the interest in people, even more so when the case remains unsolved, and even better, the case is real.
The idea for this 1 and a half-minute short to even get a page on the IMDb just goes to show how popular this mystery is.
The bit begins with an unknown man in a max headroom mask. Throughout the video, he makes references to Clutch Cargo, and Coke & Pepsi, before ending with having his backside spanked by another unknown.
And that's it. And for almost 30 years now, it has caused many internet geeks, myself included, to drive ourselves crazy begging for whoever did this to come forward and tell us how he or she did it.
Jurassic World (2015)
Taking bets on who's gonna get eaten first.
It's Jurassic Park. You just know someone is going to get devoured. It's just a matter of who's going first.
22 years after the original Jurassic Park was built, the popular tourist attraction Jurassic World operates, as originally envisioned by the visionary John Hammond. Visitors can interact with herbivore dinosaurs and witness the decimation of livestock by the carnivores. But after 10 years of operation, the park's visitor rates are declining. They need something that's going to bring back the people. As a result, they create a new dinosaur. But this dinosaur's more intelligent than the mad scientists who created her. and pretty soon, the park becomes an entrée plate of goodies. The real question is, who stays alive and who gets eaten?
For those who love a good monster movie, you're in for a good time. The action comes and goes and the survival horror mentality is there.
First of all, it was nice to see Chris Pratt as the hero but since he came off the lapels of Star-lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, it's kind of hard not to see him that way here. To me, he's still Star-Lord, except now, he's dealing with dinosaurs.
Bryce Dallas Howard plays the quintessential woman of the film, Aunt Claire. And personally, I wanted her to get eaten the most (Well, except for Private Pyle) She demeans her nephews and treats them as if they're young children, when they somehow get a 1992 Jeep Wrangler running on fuel and a battery that had been sitting for 20 years, and they can drive Stick shift. Aunt Claire wears heels and gets glorified like Wonder Woman. That's the only thing that prevented me from giving this movie a 10.
And I mentioned Private Pyle. Vincent D'Onofrio. He played Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket back in 1987 and here, in an ironic twist, he's now a top military guy, looking for a new way to fight insurgents around the world...and trained killer dinosaurs come to mind.
To close the review, I recommend you go and see this film. It's going to have a sequel in a few years, and hopefully that one will be as fun as this one was.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
Must-own for the 7th-gen consoles
Years ago, I made a review for the Original X-com; Enemy unknown from 1994, when we all thought that X-com game was the only one that would exist...and then 2K & Firaxis teamed up to bring us this Masterpiece.
Set in the year 2015, assuming the year is still 2012, Aliens from outer space have invaded earth, and have begun killing, capturing & consuming humans. in the midst of this, the world's governments have come together and formed X-com, a project that has sworn to eliminate the alien threat, by any means necessary. But, if the project doesn't do as well as the nations of the world hope, they might just back out of the project, taking valuable funding with them. As the commander at X-com, it's your job to guide soldiers in battle, build a base and arm interceptors to shoot down UFOs around the planet. And the council will grade you on it. They'll be in touch, Commander.
This is the granddaddy of Strategy games, Games like Starcraft, Age of empires, and Master of Orion exist solely because of the original X-com. the 2012 remake is also a fun game, and it also tones down the difficulty and makes the battles a bit simpler for gamers of this decade. The gameplay is very similar, although battle-mode has been made a lot more simple. Time-units are replaced by lines that say how far your soldier can go before he's dashing, and it seems you get more hits in battle. The biggest and most disappointing difference is the number of soldiers you can send into the field, starting at 4 and capping at 6. Why would a government-funded program designed to fight 20-30 aliens on one field, only send out 6 soldiers?
The music has been totally changed from the original. Personally, I loved John Broomhall's score from the original game a lot more, but there are pieces from the 2012 game that are worth their weight, like "To the fallen" and "Depths of the hive mind" both composed by Michael McCann. The music lacks an eerie/creepy vibe and has a more movie-epic sound to it.
At times, this game feels like it's setting you up to fail, and at times, you'll have to retreat from a battle, or, you'll have to ignore a UFO over a foreign country, because the cost to replace a battle-hardened Colonel or an interceptor ship is not worth the risk of charging them to their death. It's hard to accept, but sometimes you have to pull out from the battlefield, and take the verbal beating from the council.
Overall, I totally recommend anyone to play this game while they're still available at EB & Gamestop.
American Ultra (2015)
Stoner Comedy meets Action Suspense.
When it comes to blending action with comedy, some films hit the mark (Lethal Weapon & Rush Hour) and others, don't (Paul Blart) but when you combine action/suspense with stoner comedy, then what leads is one of the most fun films you'll see this summer.
Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is an everyday small-town stoner, who works a bland job at a market, with the goal of marrying his girlfriend, Phoebe (Kirsten Stewart) but what he doesn't know, is that he's actually an experiment conducted by a CIA agent named Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) and that the CIA has put out a hit on him. With lots of time and money invested in Howell, Lasseter goes out to his little town and "activates" him, turning him into a stone-cold killer. But while he's the perfect killer, he's also a sweet guy who just wants to be with his girlfriend.
First off, I want to say that this flick was funny as hell and chocked full of good action. I had a good time watching it and I was rooting for Mike all the way. But while this film is awesome, I have some complaints but i'll get to them after the pros.
Jesse Eisenberg nails the role of stoner perfectly. He's a chilled out lovable guy who just wants to be with his girlfriend and a joint of marijuana. You want to climb into the screen and smoke a fat one with him. and you want to watch his back when he's surrounded by 6 assassins...not that he'd need you.
Kirsten Stewart might be known best for her role in Twilight and of course we all know how much those stories mean to single women who spend a lot of time writing fanfictions inspired from a Danielle Steel paperback, but here, she's actually not that bad. She needs to do more comedy cause she works well as the "straight man" or woman in this case. Although she might be typecast for romance films, maybe someone like Ellen Page or Kaya Scodelario would've been a better Phoebe, but hey, it's Kirsten Stewart. can't change it now.
Connie Britton fits her role well too. It's almost like watching Colonel Trautman with Rambo from First blood, assuming Mike Howell is John Rambo.
OK, now the complaints. first, the obvious. The shaky camera....Hollywood, get it through your thick dumb skulls; We HATE shaky cameras during fight scenes. It doesn't make the scene more exciting or interactive, it just makes the fighting hard to see. Enough already!
John Leguizamo. The guy is awesome, one of my personal favorite actors and half the reason I came to see this movie. And they gave him the persona of a wigga. Really? This guy was Benny Blanco from the Bronx and Luigi Mario...OK, maybe that wasn't his shining role as Luigi but he should've at least gotten more screen time.
Overall, I totally recommend this film, but maybe you should get baked before going to see it. Or at least get baked for the ending.