It’s that time once again to set your DVRs or go searching through Netflix. This week it’s some of the most classic of horror films. If you haven’t seen them you then you should.
This classic from 1978 put the fear of demonic possession into many people young and old alike. Not to mention the sudden decrease in the dining of pea soup. This film, when it came out, had some of the craziest and best special effects the industry had to offer. The Exorcist should be on everyone’s list of films to watch every year, not just because of how good it is but also for the sheer pop culture impact it has had.
Here’s my take on The Dark Knight Rises and why it worked, why it might be the best Batman movie ever made and why I am sad to see Nolan go, but understand he needs to.
Six Things that I never thought I would see occur or work in a Batman film.
1. Bane’s voice.
The man just sounded so funny and amazing and gritty and scary and then high pitched and laughable. For those not in the know, Bane’s voice was originally so gravelly and muffled (think Darth Vader with a wet rag over his mask) that those who saw a sneak-peak preview of the film some several months ago complained he was incomprehensible.
I bought another Doctor Who novel for one thing and one thing alone; okay, that’s a lie, it’s Doctor Who for Pete’s sake. The reason being was who the villain for the book is the Nestene Consciousness. For those of you who have watched Doctor Who you may recognize, it’s the very first baddie from the relaunch with Christopher Eccelston’s brilliant debut as the ninth doctor. This one episode and villain set me down the road of fascination and obsession with all things connected to Doctor Who, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
This novel is titled Doctor Who: Autonomy and written by Daniel Blythe. The Doctor is initially flying solo in this book, that means no companion…at first. The story takes place on Earth just a few years in the future in England (Surprise! Not.). In the mall of the future, a mall so big it’s like Mall of America on steroids filled with all manor of stores, theaters, casinos, hotels, and amusement parks. The Doctor shows up because he was curious, and possibly due to the TARDIS’s knowing the Doctor was needed. At the same time a young professional named Kate Maguire is competing to be the mall’s right hand, but is secretly a journalist trying to get a huge scoop on the inner workings of the mall. And still in other places people are dying mysteriously and management is trying to cover it up quietly and quickly.
Originally I had planned a full review of this game from start to finish, but after being so encumbered by the most basic of controls. I more than likely would of shot myself before completion. So in light of that, here is a video of me playing the tutorial and part of the first level.
The truly sad part is that the game itself actually looks pretty good. The start of the first level is frantic and the action draws you in. Steel Battalion could of probably been a decent game if you could just use the controller.
One of my favorite ancient warrior classes in fiction are Vikings, who come in a close third to ninjas and samurai. Sadly, most movies i have seen that focus on them were sad excuses for film. The Thirteenth Warrior is an exception to this despite the fact it stars an actor normally not associated with Vikings. Antonio Banderas plays the leading role in this film. This film is a little on the mature side and didn’t really get too much attention when it was new and as a result, it has fallen to cult status.
The above title suggests (in case you’re a complete dits) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is Seth Grahame-Smith, the same guy who wrote Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. The book is based off the classic novel by Jane Austin. So how was it?
First off a confession, I love the original Pride and Prejudice story. I love the six part A&E series starring Colin Firth as well as the more recent film starring Keira Knightley. I was rather familiar with the original story before I read the book, and was excited to see how the story varied with the addition of zombies. I am happy to say wasn’t disapointed. Graham-Smith seamlessly spins and mixes the story that Austin wrote originally with the ever present threat of zombies munching on your brains! He does a great job in making certain major story points mesh well with the zombie ridden world that is the stories back drop.
I love cult movies, you know, those movies that don’t get a lot of mainstream media love, but still have their devoted die hard fans. I recently watched Attack the Block, a movie destined to be a cult classic. The movie is produced by the same guys who produced Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It was also directed and written by a long time friend of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, both of whom are stars of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
With a definite blockbuster movie coming out this summer , I decided to read the book its based off of, to (Hopefully) get a feel for what the movie will be like. Written by Seth Grahame-Smith, who (by the way) also wrote the screen play for the movie, has done one of the best jobs of Fictionary that I’ve read quite possibly… ever. For those who don’t know what fictionary is, it is the use of historical facts and information to tell a fictitious story. Popular examples are the books/movies The Da Vinci Code and Angel and Demons. Smith has done even better than those two books, combined. Its clear that Smith took a very long time to study Lincoln and American History, just to begin even writing this tale. Interested? The Bottom line this book was awesome! You can nab yourself a copy Here!
Not convinced yet?
Once again my ravenous hunger for books has devoured another one. This time it is Doctor Who: The Last Dodo written by Jacqueline Rayner. This book fallows the Tenth Doctor better known as David Tennant’s portrayal of him, with companion Martha alongside him. Warning: this book is ten times better if you’ve seen the seasons with David Tennant and Martha because you can hear and see the Doctor and Martha and have a better idea of his quirks and mannerisms that don’t seem to come across well in the book. This by no means that the story is horrible and it is bad writing, quite the opposite actually. The book reads almost like an episode of Doctor Who, with twists, turns, and other wibbly wobbly timey wimey circumstances.
The Doctor and Martha land on a planet that is a large natural history museum for various endangered species of Earth, as well as several other planets. The only difference from an Earth museum is that all the animals are alive in stasis boxes. And what’s the problem that the Doctor finds himself in the middle of? Exhibits are being stolen, and no one knows by whom. The Doctor and Martha then jump in head first, or as it seems to usually happen, are pushed in head first. Earth seems to be thirty to forty years further along than we are now, which means more animal species are extinct in this era, and thus the museum “curators” are constantly popping over there to retrieve the last of the dying species, which means a good part of the story involves Earth (doesn’t it always though?). The story both is intriguing yet brings up the issue of species preservation tactfully; it also plants the idea in your mind and makes you want to be more proactive about it. Overall, the book is good for the average reader, but great for those who have watched and loved the series.
Now go and your copy of it and others of the series Here!
P.S. For all you comic book fans there is a current crossover of Dr. Who and Star Trek aka Cybermen vs. Borg. Check it out!
Rage was released on October 4, 2011 and yes I understand this review is a bit over due. But like a lot of people during this past Holiday season I can only focus on a few games at a time and Rage just so happened to take the back burner.
Built on the id Tech 5 engine the game is gorgeous easily taking top marks for being one of the best looking games I’ve seen in a long time. The amount of detail in the environments is staggering, from the shops and garages to the cliff faces you zoom past in your buggy. This. Game. Looks. Awesome. Period. Even using the familiar “after the end of the world” motif we have already seen again and again Rage avoid the failing of games like Boarderlands and Fallout by some how keeping the environments fresh while still keeping the same atmosphere. Despite the great look the game lacks destructible environments/item. Except for enemy buggys and the occasional bandit tower nothing in this game reacts. Computer screens, items on tables, shelves, etc… are all invulnerable to your firepower. I feel this is worth mentioning because these small things add a lot to shooters. Miss a bandit with a shotgun blast and you blow a bunch of tiles off a wall, or you tag a guy with an exploding arrow and the resulting explosion throws debris around the room. Don’t expect this kind of action in Rage.
[note: There are a few moments where you find these kinds of items, I fondly remember accidentally blasting a pipe and watching steam shoot out, surprised because it was the first thing that really reacting to anything I had done even though I was 8 hours in.]
The story is simple. Asteroid is about to hit earth, some people chosen to go underground in vaults (your one of them), asteroid hits, bad guys take over while your napping, wake up, fight baddies. Its shallow but actually holds up pretty well on all accounts except for the “Authority.” They are the technologically advanced bad guys that run things, I guess. The Authority are rarely seen, never fully explained, and basically fell flat. All you are told is that they are bad and they want you dead. (That worked for games 8 years ago). I really wished they showed more of who the authority were, why they wanted you dead, some figured head to focus on, something, anything to make them more interesting. There is also also a sub plot of them building an army of mutants, but for what reason? I have no idea. They are already superior in technology, weapons, and there really isn’t anyone to fight. (world was destroyed remember, someone may want to tell those guys)
Here at The Bro Chat I (Shawn) will be focusing specifically on reviews of movies and video games. These will come in the form of written reviews and soon videos. You may be wondering what my style is or How I review things? The fact is there are a lot of people doing reviews out there which will likely ask yourself “Why should I listen to this guy?”
I don’t pander to movies or games and I am by no means gentle. I am personally tired of watching/reading reviewer after reviewer giving the same generalities that can basically be attributed to everything they have ever reviewed. I am especially soured at so-called “official” reviewers that basically never give bad rating because developers threaten to remove them from their early play list. The Reviewer pool is watered down and lazy. In reality the only decent honest reviews are the reviews of older generation games because no one has any stake.
I’m planning on bringing back honest unforgiving reviews. I am specific and ruthless, I don’t ignore bad parts of a game or movie just because the rest is pretty cool. I have a certain level of BS I can take. For example, when it comes to Dr.Who the BS meter is off the charts. They can get away with anything because the main character is a time traveling, dimension jumping, double hearted space alien with an affinity for the human race.
Working on a review of Rage right now. Should be out by tonight or tomorrow.
Today I went and saw the hugely popular The Hunger Games that opened last week bringing in roughly 155 million dollars, to see just how good it was. Now I am of the group of movie goers that has not read the books yet, but have plans to do so after watching the first movie. I had the same plan when Twilight came out and all plans of reading that series died thirty minutes into the movie. Did the Hunger Games cause a similar reaction? The answer is no, and quite the opposite in fact. The movie made me hunger to read the books to get even more of the story that you just can’t easily portray on the big screen. The movie was extremely well done and kept the balance between action and intrigue almost perfectly. The acting was immensely well done by the entire cast that included Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, and Donald Sutherland to name a few big names. The cinematography was done in such a way as to instill and portray the violence of the first blood bath to the final death in a way that was not too harsh, but allowed the audience to know the brutality of each and every death. The art direction showed the difference not only in culture divide between the lower class and the upper class in how they viewed the games, but also the way these two cultures viewed the world. One in the cold hard reality of grays and blacks and the other in the neon tinged mask of reality that they saw. The special effects where almost flawless, and the pull at your heart strings for characters that only lasted a short time was immense. If I had to name one complaint I had, it was that in a few occasions the damage and or penetration of a weapon seemed to be a little hinky. In the end though this movie is a must see if you have or haven’t read the books, and believe me you will want to read the books afterwards if you haven’t already.
P.S. NEVER EVER SEE Twilight! EVER!