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Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

I Can Feel Your Halo Halo Halo, I Can See Your Halo Halo Halo- Beyonce’s reaction to Halo 4

In Videogames on November 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm

This is my fist game review, so please forgive me if I forget anything or don’t include something that you wish I did. So, Halo 4 finds our hero Master Chief on Requiem, a Forerunner planet, four years after Halo 3. Master Chief is awakened by Cortana who informs MC that covenant are trying to get aboard the ship and they must TAKE EM OUT! MC tries this but then their ship is drawn closer to Requiem and then they encounter the Didact who is evil incarnate. Along the way MC gets some sweet new guns such as the  Binary Rifle, the Boltshot, the Incineration Cannon, the Lightrifle, this thing rocks, the Pulse Grenade, the Scattershot, an alien shotgun, and the Supressor, an alien version of the assault rifle.  With these new Promethean toys, btw the Prometheans were this super race of awesome beings who are now dead because of the Didact, I think, MC tries to first stop this jamming device that they believe is keeping them from contacting the Infinity, a United Nations Space Command vessel, only to release the Didact from Requiem so he can destroy the universe. Boom. So that’s the campaign plot summary and it illustrates one of the main problems I had with this game, none of this was explained very well.

I didn’t really understand what or who the Didact was or why he had ridiculous fangs. I also didn’t really understand what Requiem was or who the Prometheans were or who the heck the Composer was. That last part especially, was never really explained. Point being, Halo 4 suffered from the lack of detail regarding their campaign story. I like first person shooters but I also like a good lot and these things can occur within the same game, cough cough Bioshock.  The developers did get something right within the game play which is changed throughout the game. Sometimes MC is piloting a Pelican, sometimes he is piloting this new machine called a Mantis, it resembles a Mech, and sometimes he is simply driving around on his Warthog. The variability of the missions makes this game a lot better but doesn’t save it entirely. If there is another Halo coming, which I imagine there will be until the franchise no longer makes money, the developers would profit from more explanation and development within the campaign plot.

The multiplayer was something that Halo 4 absolutely did not suffer from. Some major differences were introduced, you can level up and change your weapons load out, slayer and team slayer is done within a points format, more points for head shots and you get points for assisting another player, and you can gain packages within the game by scoring more points, giving you access to more weapons and more ammo. The multiplayer is very similar to Black Ops and the other FPS games out there and I think this change makes Halo very addicting and very awarding. I find myself trying not to die, something I didn’t really care about in Halo 3, and also find myself aiming towards the upper body on an enemy, in hopes I will get more points. The multiplayer within Halo 4, makes this game worth buying. Another aspect of Halo 4,that I have not tried out yet, is the Spartan Ops options, which is a blend between the campaign and the multiplayer, allowing you to use your multiplayer character against the Covenant and other enemies.

So all in all, I would buy this game for the multiplayer. You can use the campaign to hone your skills but don’t expect to be wowed by it.

Lincoln Lives!

In Movies on November 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Sadly, he doesn’t survive in “Lincoln” but sweet Jesus does Daniel Day-Lewis do a good job bringing this historical figure to life. My God, this actor is amazing and I quote and agree with Stephen Colbert when he said, “Shouldn’t they just be making Oscars in the shape of Daniel Day-Lewis’s face?”. I haven’t heard Lincoln speak, but now I simply imagine Day-Lewis’s softly spoken Illinois accent as Lincoln. Needless to say I loved this movie, but note this, this movie is not for everyone. It is a legislative passing dialogue driven drama, thus making it powerful but very slow-moving so if you are not interested in this aspect of Lincoln, then go watch him as a vampire hunter.

Stephen Spielberg directs this film starring Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, David Straithairn as William Seward, Joseph Gorden-Levitt as Robert Lincoln, James Spader as W.N. Bilbo, Hal Holbrook as Preston Blair, Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, John Hawkes as Robert Latham, Jackie Earle Haley as Alexander Stephens, Time Blake Nelson as Richard Schell, Jared Harris as Ulysses S. Grant, and so many other actors. I cannot stress that enough, this film is filled with familiar faces who all come together to make this wonderful film. “Lincoln” tells the story of Lincoln who is trying to pass the 13th amendment, which outlaws slavery, while simultaneously ending the Civil War. Not such an easy task, the effects of which Day-Lewis shows quite well. Lincoln enlists the help of Seward to effectively buy the vote by promising individuals within the House of Representatives who vote for this amendment a government job that they wish. Lincoln also works with Preston Blair to begin peace negotiations with the South while keeping the Southern representatives at bay because he knows that they will oppose the amendment, thus effectively destroying the amendment. Lincoln juggles and confronts all of these opposing voices within his cabinet and within various meetings he holds, determined to end the Civil War and pass the 13th amendment, two tasks that Seward believes cannot be completed together. Oscar worthy, this film is. Best Screenplay for sure and Best Supporting for David Straithairn and Tommy Lee Jones. The conversations that occur between all of these characters are realistic, especially the candor established between Sally Field and Day-Lewis. Their scenes were especially powerful. If you like Daniel Day-Lewis or any of the other actors mentioned, then take a look at this film. If you wish to see Lincoln in the flesh, then see this movie, because sweet Jesus, he is alive and well and on the big screen.

Onto the nitty-gritty spoiler filled review!

So one of the problems that my girlfriend had with this film, was the continuation of the film following the passing of the amendment, depicting Lincoln’s death without actually showing it. This is an interesting choice because it would make sense to show the death of Lincoln and continue the film, but Spielberg didn’t do that. Rather, he showed Lincoln’s youngest reacting to the news. I believe that Spielberg took the high road in this aspect, he wanted to show the movie up until Lincoln died, but didn’t want to show Lincoln getting shot. I think this may be because he didn’t want Lincoln to be remembered as the President that got assassinated, rather, as the President that outlawed slavery. That was the whole purpose of the film, but the ending is worth noting because it is unique. Showing his death without really showing his death.

I thought Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones were both amazing in this film. Sally Field depicting a distraught woman coming to terms with the death of her son, trying to support her husband and her family without allowing herself to feel any form of happiness. She was incredible in this film, giving the audience a different view of Mary Todd Lincoln, and even commenting on the view that many viewers hold of her. I thought she portrayed this strained depressed woman, extremely well. Tommy Lee Jones, gah! His script alone was phenomenal in this film and his struggle with his beliefs regarding slavery and the passage of the amendment were beautifully portrayed. He had to stifle his own beliefs in order to ensure the passage of the bill and the difficulty that he felt doing this was shown quite well.

Seeing Lincoln as a father was another great aspect about this film. Not only was he juggling the Civil War and the 13th amendment, but Robert wanted to fight in the war and his youngest didn’t have his mother to look after him. Fatherly Lincoln was a side I have never seen, nor heard of, and I loved it. He wanted to protect his son from the atrocities of war while also allowing him to be a man. It was great to see this side of him.

Another aspect I liked about this film, was the fact that they didn’t gloss over the illegalities of what Lincoln was doing, because what he was doing was illegal. He was using his executive powers to influence the legislative branch, which is sooo not something you’re supposed to do.  But Spielberg didn’t gloss over this, it is made very clear to the viewer that this is not something that the President should be doing. But the question is, does the end justify the means? He was doing this to ensure the end of slavery and hindsight, being awesome, the viewer knows that this was the right thing to do, but at that point, Lincoln and his staff didn’t. This uncomfortable-ness was displayed and voiced by Seward and other members of his staff and the movie benefited from this.

The one aspect of this film that I had a problem with, was Lincoln’s reason for supporting the 13th amendment. This was discussed only vaguely. I know that slavery is morally wrong but to think like that in that day and age was unique and sometimes dangerous. Thaddeus believed it was wrong because it was wrong AND because he was in love with his house keeper. The reason for Lincoln’s support of the amendment isn’t discussed in detail and I wish it was.

All in all, great movie. Slow but powerful and extremely well written. Watch it and let me know what you think

The Guardians Have Risen!

In Movies on November 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

Tell me, what is better than a sword wielding Santa, an Easter egg throwing Easter Bunny, and an ice blasting Jack Frost? Nothing! That’s what!

“Rise of the Guardians” is directed by  Peter Ramsay, produced by Guillermo Del Toro and has the voice talents of Jude Law, Pitch Black, Chris Pine, Jack Frost, Alec Baldwin, Awesome Russian Santa, Isla Fisha, Tooth Fairy, and Hugh Jackman, Easter Bunny. In this story Jack Frost is selected to become a Guardian by the Man in the Moon and join the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy,  Sandman, and Santa to protect the children of the world from Pitch Black. the problem is, Jack Frost can’t be seen by the children because they don’t believe in him, I mean come on who believes in Jack Frost. Because of this, he is reluctant to join the Guardians but finds himself fighting on their side to protect himself, the other Guardians, especially Sandy, and the children. This is a kids movie with some very adult themes within it but one I was very much interested in seeing from the minute I first heard about it. It is funny, poignant, emotional, and a lot of fun to watch. If you’re looking for a family pleasing movie, look no further. I hope that they do a sequel to this film because there are a lot of other characters that they could include in it, the Groundhog, the Leprechaun, etc.

Now onto the nitty-gritty. SPOILER ALERT!

I loved the Jack Frost story line, it made his involvement with this group realistic. He wasn’t interested in being a Guardian, then he was interested because Tooth could help him find his memories, and then he became nearly completely involved because of Sandy’s death. I liked that. He didn’t take the job immediately, because why would he? He was a loner from the beginning. But Jack was slowly drawn into the group, figuring out his center, and thus deciding to become a Guardian.

I would have liked to see the Pitch and Tooth Fairy fight scene. Tooth alluded to the fact that it was a pretty sweet battle, but I would have liked to have witnessed it.

I liked how Guardians were people once, I thought that was a really interesting aspect of this movie. Santa was once a human, as was the Easter Bunny, and they were chosen by the Man in the Moon to become a Guardian and protect the children of the world.

As I stated before, I liked this movie and I do hope they make a sequel because there is a lot of holiday characters that they could play around with. If you see this or have seen this, let me know what you think!

 

The Sky Did Indeed Fall in Skyfall

In Movies on November 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

The third Daniel Craig Bond movie is here and it is beautiful. Directed by Sam Mendes, who directed American Beauty and Revolutionary Road, James Bond finds himself up again Silva, a super smart computer hacker, who used to be an MI6 agent and is played by Javier Bardem. Bond enlists the help of Q, played by Ben Whishaw, and Eve Moneypenny, played by Naomi Harris, to battle Silva who has a personal vendetta against M, played by Judi Dench. Bond travels from Shanghai to Macau in order to find, capture, and interrogate Silva who managed to get his hands on a list that MI6 has kept of all the known agents hidden within terrorist organizations. Oh, did I also mention that Bond is recovering from a near death experience hampered by an alcohol addiction? Oh I didn’t?  Did I also mention that there is a soldier turned bureaucrat who appears to want to make Bond’s life very difficult, Gareth Mallory, played by Ralph Fiennes? Oh I didn’t ?Well he is and he is back and better than ever. This movie had some amazing shots within it, a lot of shadow play, and took place in some amazing places. The cinematography was beautiful and benefited from the haunted Daniel Craig that was running around and fighting within it. In this film, the viewer gets a glimpse at the man behind the gun and the woman directing his shots. Both are haunted by the decisions they made and the events that they were involved in, in the past. I haven’t seen a Bond yet that showed us this vulnerable of a Bond and I loved it. He isn’t superman, he is the layman who knows  how to shoot a gun and how to break a neck. I suggest you see this movie even if you haven’t seen other Bond films, because, well, this is an entirely different Bond. It’s a beautiful film, well acted, with just enough action and just enough drama to keep lovers of both satisfied. Go see it! You won’t regret it.

Now onto the nitty-gritty spoiler filled review.

Judi Dench was absolutely great in this movie and a lot of people have given her the title of Bond girl for the amount of screen time she had during the film and her performance. I thought she gave M more character then I had ever seen before, although I wished she gave a bit more. Just a little bit of emotion, a tear or two. I’m not asking for Niagara Falls here, I just felt in some moments she could have been a little less stone faced and a little bit more raw.

Naomi Harris gave some life to Moneypenny who I remembered as being Bond’s secretary and that woman who Bond can never seem to remember but she can never forget him. I liked seeing her in action and even being the one to shoot Bond, GASP, that never happens! It gave some life to her character and I really do hope they bring her back for more.

I liked Javier Bardem, however, I thought his final scene fell flat. He had the opportunity to kill M, and yet stalled, and thus ended up dead. I understand he was torn, there appeared to be some weird mother son relationship between the two of them, but I felt that he only stalled for the script’s sake, not for reality’s sake. This man blew up her office and engineered it so M could witness the entire thing. He wanted her to suffer and yet he stalled pulling the trigger. It was a bit contradictory to me.

I like Ralph Fiennes as the new M. I truly do and I hope they make at least two more Bond movies with this cast of characters because it would be a damn shame if they put all of these great characters and actors into place, only to have Bond replaced by someone else.

One thing I did not enjoy, was the similarity between Javier Bardem’s character and the Joker, from “The Dark Knight”. This raises a good question, can a character represent utter chaos and not be compared to the Joker? I don’t know but especially when Q figured out that his plan was to get caught AND then Javier Bardem is riding in the police car. My brain just couldn’t help but compare the too. Does the film suffer from the comparison? No. It just seemed like it was done already.

Also, Berenice Marlohe’s character isn’t really worth mentioning, hence why she wasn’t mentioned in the summary, but I think it would have been nice to have her character developed a little bit. We see her, Bond sleeps with her, and she’s dead.

Cloud Atlas(t)!

In Movies on November 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Okay, that pun wasn’t that great, but the movie itself was! “Cloud Atlas”, directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Huge Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, creepy Keith David, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, and James D’Arcy. This all-star cast play many different roles within this film jumping sex and race to tell the story of love, triumph, oppression, evil, and freedom. “Cloud Atlas” contains within it 6 different time lines all telling different stories but containing the same themes. One story takes place in a post apocalyptic future where The Fall has occurred and humanity is basically in the Iron age. Another time line occurs during the 70s when a nosy reporter tries to uncover the secrets to a nuclear power plant while putting her life into danger. There are so many amazing roles, amazing shots, and amazing makeup.  These actors did the near impossible with this book adaptation but did it successfully. The adaptation of this book was also accomplished so well, thanks to the directors, with a few changes here and there that didn’t alter much. BUT!! I suggest that you read the book, before seeing this movie, because I loved the movie and understood what was occurring with much more ease. The book also offers a lot more character development within it, which is great, but lacks the flow and the wonderful ending that the directors gave to this film, so before I get to the nitty-gritty, GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It was amazing, tear-jerking, and totally worth the price of admission. I will probably even buy this film when it comes out.

Likes:

I loved the portrayal of the Zachary story and the conclusion that the story held within it. The comet on the back of his head. Ugh! I loved it!

I also loved the loss of love within one time line, Sonmi, and the completion of this love within the Ewing story. I loved how this occurred for the Luisa Rey and Zachary story, as well.

Hugo Weaving was phenomenal in this film. I absolutely hated him as Old Georgie, he was super creepy, and I loved his role as Adam Ewing’s father-in-law. He was just pure evil, even as Nurse Noakes! He played those roles with such determination and I think he should get some sort of acknowledgment for it.

This movie had some of the best lines that I have experienced in a while. Sweet Jesus. Hugo Weaving’s monologue, Sonmi’s monologue. I just loved it all and thinking about it now, even brings a bit of a tear to my eye. Especially, Frobisher’s last few words, “I believe there is another world waiting for us, Sixsmith. A better world. And I’ll be waiting for you there”

And of course, I loved Ben Wishaw as Robert Frobisher. That character was drastically changed from the book, he was not gay, nor in love with Jim Broadbent, but I loved what they did with that. He was truly a tragic figure.

Dislikes:

There was a lot more to the Sonmi story-line  that I really wish they showed. The audience would have felt for her so much more and her struggle against society would have been so much more profound.

I also wish they added a few more characters to the Luisa Rey story and developed that a bit more. In the book, so much more happens and the plot is thickened even more but it does not suffer from this.

Nothing else. Seriously. This movie was excellent. And should take home a bunch of Oscars.

Christian Bale Should Have Bailed on This Film!

In Movies on November 7, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I had the displeasure of watching “Equilibrium” tonight, thinking that a nice action, suspense film would be a nice way to end the night. Boy was I wrong.

“Equilibrium” is directed by Kurt Wimmer stars Christian Bale as John Preston who is a Cleric and protects individuals from themselves. See, in the 21st century, people are taking a drug, called Prozium, to stop them from feeling. The rationale was this, the third world war happened as a result of anger and greed etc, so in order to stop a fourth world war, we should stop feeling. Things go awry when John Preston finds out that his partner Partridge. played by Sean Bean, is no longer taking his dosage to which John Preston follows suit. Brandt, played by Tay Diggs, appears on the scene as a replacement to Partridge who believes that he will be the best Cleric there is, better than Preston because he is truly the best. Also, for some reason these Clerics can move super fast and they can do amazing karate with pistols. Preston struggles with his feelings and his role within the government; trying to rationalize what it is they do and if it is right. Preston’s world is literally rocked when a puppy licks his face.

Okay, so that about does it for the summary, there isn’t much else you need to know. Before I get into the nitty-gritty, let me just say that this movie was not worth it. It was the first movie I have ever rated on Netflix and I gave it 1 star. I would have gone lower if it allowed me to. Okay, here it goes.

SPOILER ALERT!

 

So one huge gaping flaw in the entirety of this film was how stupid Preston was behaving. Suddenly he began to feel and instead of working hard to ensure that he did not get caught, and sentenced to summary destruction, he tries to individuate himself from the rest of society. He begins to run everywhere, he openly cries, and he rearranges his desk. He himself should have known that there are eyes everywhere and to engage in such behavior was extremely dangerous.

The karate gun fight scenes in this film were ill-conceived. The final battle appeared to consist of two men constantly blocking each other’s shot from one another and firing off rounds randomly at the wall. The final battle scene was also awful, he cut off Tay Diggs face! In about two strokes! It was awful and very cheesy.

Another aspect of this film that was absolutely ludicrous, was the fact that the underground society, was actually underground. Like they were literally living a few feet under millions of senseless people. And yet, this underground was tricky and could never be caught. However, if someone simply looked through a grate they would see that there was an entire society living right below their feet. Seriously?!

All in all, this movie was terrible and a complete waste of time. Don’t even bother.