The first Rec was both a very good as “zombie” movie and for being a “found footage” film. You never thought that these people under duress were silly for continuing to film themselves being attacked and killed. Rec 2 also does a good job explaining the cameras with Aliens style military helmet cams. In a pretty cool way, the film picks up literally right after the events of the first movie. Much of the suspense and tension is dependent on you having seen the first film and knowing what is lurking in that penthouse apartment. However, the film does kinda fall apart about halfway through when you are introduced to a group of idiot teenagers, but by then I was hooked and just held my nose just so I could reach the finale.
Book two in this excellent series is just about as good as the first. The story picks up right where we left off last time and, if I had any sort of complaint, it is that it is more or less exactly the same as The Name of the Wind for the first third. But this is necessary to keep the plot moving forward. The story then makes an abrupt change and you are introduced to a whole new batch of interesting characters and places. Again the writing is excellent and keeps you turning the pages and wanting more.
Hacky Joke: I can’t believe it took so long for Obama to release his birth certificate. I guess Kenyans are much more lax about being on time.
This is Poster Children at their very best. After pretty much defining the drone-tastic Champaign-Urbana style of the early 90’s, they began to adopt a new wave aesthetic (They were also recording as all-analog synthesizer band Salaryman around this time too). There is just an overall feeling of fun and experimentation in every every track. Heck, they wrote a song about David Hasselhoff (“He’s My Star”).
Just Like You is a really solid EP. The band is slowly moving away from their drone-laden “Champaign ’92” sound an becoming more daring in their use of studio production. I love the fade in and reprise of the opening track at the end of the disc and, although it is cheesy and cute, “What’s Inside the Box” is a nice change of pace. This EP not quite there, but is a good lead-in to Junior Citizen – their best record in my opinion.
It took about a year of on-again / off-again playing, but I finally made it through this DS remake of Chrono Trigger. Unlike Final Fantasy III on the DS, this is more of a straight up port of the game rather than a 3D re-imagining. Also unlike Final Fantasy III this game isn’t a dismal, frustrating bore with random battles and the other annoying trappings of Japanese RPG games. With its quasi real time battles, the combat is much more fluid, fast and fun. The story is as convoluted as any JRPG but the time travel aspects at least keep it more interesting than your typical “there are monsters everywhere because of a big bad wizard” plot (unfortunately, there are still plenty of unnecessary “…” dialogue boxes to click through). I still prefer western style role-playing games like Fallout and Mass Effect to this, but I think I am no longer completely JRPG adverse. I am actually tempted to buy Phantasy Star IV on the Wii Virtual Console next.
“Leathermen don’t get nervous… leathermen don’t get nervous” The immortal words of Glenn the Leatherman from Village People movie, Can’t Stop the Music. Resident Evil 5 puts that wisdom to the test as you face a giant throbbing, oozing worm beasts with only your pistol, some potted plants and Beyonce to help you.
Resident Evil 5 follows the formula that was established in RE4. It is similar almost to the point where it feels like the exact same game. That’s hardly a complaint, RE4 was one of the best games on the Wii and my opinion of it only improves every time I go back to it. I played this on the PC so (especially compared to the Wii) the graphics are spectacular. Also, the mouse aiming controls feel a bit more natural to me. There is still some clunkiness to the character movement controls, but I found them to be better than Dead Space (which was essentially Resident Evil in space… with kicking).
The story gave just enough narrative to keep me wanting to progress through the game. Like most video games, this ain’t no Hamlet but it suffices. The only thing that I really disliked about the game was the reliance on quicktime events during cut-scenes. That stupid mechanic needs to die. Other than that, one of the best PC games I have played in quite a while.
There are about three hundred movies named Hercules (usually with “vs. <insert name here>” after the name). This is the 1983 version starring Lou Ferrigno and directed by Italian horror/sci-fi cheese legend Luigi Cozzi (a.k.a. Lewis Coates of Star Crash fame). Make no mistake, this is a bad movie by just about any standard. However, it makes up for its shortcomings in spades with its over-the-top (low-budget) effects and aspirations ’ the film is trying ever so hard to be Clash of the Titans. Where else can you find chariots in space, Jazzercise outfitted villains, Lego Mindstorms quality animated robot monsters and bear punching? Worth watching for the aforementioned bear punching scene alone. As an added bonus the DVD includes the sequel on the other side of the disc. Fantastic!