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Showing posts from August, 2010

DTV Madness: Tekken!!!!

I think the first Tekken game came out when I was just hitting my teen age. Although a few of my friends got really into the game, I just couldn't muster the same love for the game. Even before it was released, I was raised on Street Fighters and Mortal Kombats — not this no-fireball nonsense. To its credit, Tekken had a really deep, technical and intensive combat system, but I guess I just preferred something easier... plus, I liked fireballs and fatalities.

It seems as though there is going to be a triad of bad movies based on fighting video games. The gauntlet was laid down last year with release of the box office smash hit Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li (cue sarcasm). Not to be outdone, Namco answered the challenge with Tekken and SNK also threw their name into the hat with The King of Fighters, which should be out soon. But let's talk about Tekken.

Tekken takes place in a futuristic Earth, where the continents are taken over by corporate entities. We follow a young f…

More on hoarding.

I was reading this article yesterday and it reminded me a lot of the book I read, earlier this summer, Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things. Anyhow, here's a snippet of the article:
"Bill James apparently had no idea that the body of his pack-rat wife, Billie Jean, was under the same roof as he helped police scour the home and the Nevada desert for any sign of her. Then he spotted the feet of the body poking out of a floor-to-ceiling pile of junk Wednesday, revealing in shocking detail the woman's penchant for hoarding."You can read the rest of the article (here).

Rest In Peace: Satoshi Kon

Truly, this is a sad week in geekdom. The anime world lost one of its great, a man that was and possibly is a legend in and around anime circles. The Japanese animator, Satoshi Kon, passed away this week at a young age of 47. Kon created such titles as The Perfect Blue (possibly my favourite anime movie), Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers and Paprika, as far as full length features go. He was skilled in blending together adult themed storylines with a distorted dream-like tapestry all the while connecting to the audience with its emotional grab. When I think about who my favourite animator is, it falls between Hayao Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon. Well ff it can be considered a deciding factor, I have all of Kon's movies on DVD but not all of Miyazaki's. I am saddened that we will no longer see new ideas, new creations and new worlds from the mind of this master artist. But life is what it is and we have what we have. So thank you for that. Rest well Mr. Kon and peace be to you…

So yes. Scott Pilgrim.

HOLY @#$@!!! WHAT A MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yah, I really enjoyed this movie. It's a shame that it's doing so bad at the box office. In its second week of its theatrical run, it amounted to only 10th place for the weekend. A poor showing. But it was interesting. I went to see it in downtown Toronto with a crew of guys and to my surprise, the theater was nearly packed... and this was a Monday night! It's weekend revenues surely did not reflect this particular cinema. But then again, for this particular movie, Toronto theaters might be biased as our city played host to the movie.

The movie opened up with a 16-bit version of the Universal Pictures logo complete with 16-bit audio. As soon as that graced the screen, I knew I was going to love the rest of the movie. Immediately after, the voice over reads an introduction and proudly proclaims that the movie takes place in Toronto to which the theater I was at erupted in applause. Finally, a movie that doesn't try to…

Un Prophete [Foreign]

So while the American movie industry is spewing out sequels, remakes, reboots and/or other vacuous works of unoriginality, at least our friends overseas are attempting to create original ideas. Un Proph├Ęte (or A Prophet) is a 2009 French made film that garnered much accolades and success. Not only was it nominated for the best Foreign Language Film at this year's Academy Awards, but it also won the Grand Prix award at last year's Cannes Film Festival.

The film tells of a young miscreant named Malik who is thrown into a French prison for some unmentioned petty crime. As a French born Arab, he has difficulty with the French as well as the rising Arab inmates. Realizing that the Corsican gang holds all the power in the prison, he begins to connect with this group of convicts, led by their elderly leader, Luciani. But before he is accepted by the gang, Malik has to kill a fellow inmate. He complies with his duties and is soon part of the 'in crowd' at the prison. But Malik …

THE EXPENDABLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: "What a bad-ass movie."
Friend Zoro: "I think that's the perfect description."

So I'll say it again. WHAT A BAD-ASS MOVIE! Summer 2010 has to have been the year of team-based action movies. Just when the summer season was kicking off, we got The Losers. Mid-summer, we got The A-Team. And to cap it off at the end, we get The Expendables. And I'm happy to say that all three are enjoyable. But whereas The Losers and A-Team were filled with unique characters with distinguishing attributes and skills, Expendables opts for just a simple array of ass-kickers. And boy, did asses get kicked.

As the story goes, Sylvester Stallone's team of hired mercs are on a mission to take down a ruthless general and his army on a South American island named Vilena. Also on the ranks of team evil are Eric Roberts and Stone Cold Steve Austin. That's pretty much it.

So you're not going into this for a heavy or plot-centric movie (and if you did, what the hell a…

SPLICE is nice... but...

...I'm still reeling in a bit from seeing it. It was altogether a very good movie (in the sense that Inception was also very good). Great? I'm not sure at the moment, but that could change soon. I watched it a few days ago and since then, I've thought a lot about it and I like the types of ethical questions they pose in regards to science. Mix that in with elements of sci-fi with horror and drama, and you get one unique film. Also to note, it was probably also one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen.

In Splice, we follow two scientists, Clive and Elsa (Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley), who successfully create a new species by splicing the DNAs from different animals together. The company who they are funded by wishes to take their research into a new direction and fearing that they would be relegated to mundane research, they start taking matters into their own hands by secretly conducting experiments: splicing animal with human DNA. The new creature they cre…

Tropa de Elite [Foreign]

Tropa de Elite (or Elite Squad) is a Brazilian made film dealing with the corruption of the police force and the conflicts against the drug lords in different divisions of Rio de Janeiro called favelas. It was released in 2007 to much acclaim including winning the best feature at the Berlin International Film Festival that year. It garnered much success in its home country of Brazil, quickly becoming one of the most watched movies in the country.

The movie follows a captain named Nascimento who is part of an "elite squad"called the BOPE, who are analogous to the ATF locally. Because the police force is so corrupt, the BOPE is needed to stay above the law that is above the law. They are a presence feared by everyone in the city, including the druggies and gangs, as they take no shit from anyone. But Nascimento is getting worn down by the risky nature of his job, compounded by the pressures of becoming a father, and so he seeks a replacement for his position. Two new recruits a…

Let Me In!!!!!!!! (Trailer)

Last month, the trailer for Let Me In was released. It's a remake of the Swedish movie Let the Right One In from 2007. The thing that really hit me when I saw this trailer was how similar looking it was to the original movie... like the frame-by-frame type of similarity. I think the movie is going for the type of remake in the vein of Gus Van Sant's Psycho (1998). Rather than adding their own spins on the movie, they stay loyal to the material in reproducing every scene. I'm not sure how I feel about these type of remakes. I mean, if you're going that route, why not just tell people to watch the original? But at least in this case, it's bringing an original story to a fresh new audience. I wasn't fully enamored with the original but I did enjoy it. We'll see how the reviews turn out for this one. Have a good weekend geeks!

Red Faction: Guerrilla!!! (Xbox 360)

Destruction at its very best.

So the only reason why I ended up reviewing Crackdown a few months ago was so that I could talk about Red Faction: Guerrilla. The gameplay was so similar that I couldn't ignore it. But whereas Crackdown irked me, RF:G brought joy.

Red Faction is a futuristic open world game that lets you play as a miner named Alec Mason who is new to Mars. He is reunited with his brother who is part of a rebel group called the Red Faction, who are united against an evil empire like group called the Earth Defense Force (EDF for short). But their reunion is short-lived as his brother is assassinated early on, prompting Alec to join the RF. From there, you travel from region to region, freeing the Mars colonies from the oppression of the EDF forces.

At its core, the game plays very similar to Crackdown, with a loosely held story opting to let you choose your own paths. You can basically do whatever you want although on the mission side of things, you get your choice betwee…

Michael Crichton's JURASSIC PARK!!!

This week I finished reading this little book called Jurassic Park. You may have heard of it. It was adapted into a movie by one Steven Spielberg in 1993, which I think a few of you saw. Anyhow, it's kind of funny. I've never read the book before, but I did read The Lost World, the sequel to this book back when I was 14 years old, in anticipation for the movie sequel.

If you need a rundown, here it is in 5 short sentences. Old billionaire tycoon creates a park on an island in Costa Rica. He successfully funds research in recreating dinosaurs from rare DNA. He invites a bunch of people to check out the island. The power goes out. Carnage ensues.

Okay, they're not really sentences. It's always interesting to read the book after you've seen the movie. Instead of having your imagination paint the world described in the pages of the book, the world is kind of built for you already from all the visuals you saw in the movie. Whereas if you went the other way around, it…

@#$# you, Virgin Radio 99.9!!

Ya know, I think I've gotten soft over the past year. I realized that I'm hardly ever ranting and raving anymore. I've even noticed that my language is getting better; I'm hardly ever thinking or saying 'fuck this' or 'fuck that'. Overall, I think I've been more peaceful, which in the end, I believe is a good thing. Even my gaming tirades have been more calm. I might drop the F-bomb every now and then, but it's hardly ever the screaming bouts of yesteryear.

But the other day I was driving and had the radio tuned into Virgin Radio 99.9 Toronto to get my fix of popular hit music. Granted, the genres of music they play aren't my favourite but I still enjoy it from time to time. Then I realized something: Virgin Radio Toronto overplays every single hit song over and over. I swear, their playlist must be 30 songs deep, with the repeat option enabled.

We have an ongoing joke in our family that whenever we drive out somewhere, that the car ride…

Congrats to Keith and Beka!!!

Photo Credit: Heather Jardine

I don't know how I let this one slip through the cracks! Two weeks ago, two of my closest friends tied the knot after two and a half years being together. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception held at this country club up in Stouville, Ontario called The Sleepy Hollow Country Club.

A good time was had by all, with tons of smiles, laughs and even a few tears. I had the honour of being not only a groomsman but a co-emcee with my friend Maurice as well. When you put the two of us together, hijinks usually ensues, but I think we kept things pretty tamed (LOL).

Anyhow, congrats to my Keith and Beka! Not only are they newlyweds, but they're also now my new neighbours (which is good for gaming!). They're now enjoying the sights and sounds of Malaysia, having travelled to Thailand for a week. Seeya soon and congrats again!

Photo Credit: Kimberly Lam

Photo Credit: Laura Hogan