Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Deadpool's Mighty Movie Review Of Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Welcome back to my side of the streetz boys and girls! While everyone and their grandmother is enjoying Catching Fire and Doctor Who’s Day of the Doctor special this week, I’ve decided to take my time with that and write up my review for Thor: The Dark World first. Honestly, if it’s not done right, I probably won’t do it at all, and that’s just not cool… You don’t want me to not do anything. I’ve got all this blog space, and SO MANY IDEARZ TO SHARE WITZ UZ GUYZ!!! For starters, this review!

So this time around, the filmmakers decided, “Hey, we didn’t have enough scenes outside of the Earthly realm in the first movie. Let’s totally do more stuff on Asgard and other places!” … Lucky for them, that’s EXACTLY what I was thinking they should do! So right off the bat, I was on board. Top it all off with the fact that the actors and actresses clearly enjoyed playing their roles a bit more this time around. It goes a long way when people actually ACT like they want to be in the film they’re a part of.

I felt like there was a slightly better plot within the movie this time around, at least from what I can remember. It revolves around this substance called the Aether, a weapon capable of destroying the universe itself (because just being able to blow up one planet at a time is simply not enough to keep the kids attention these days!). While Loki is being imprisoned after the events of The Avengers film, Thor and his posse go ravaging across the Nine Realms in order to keep the peace. Marvel seems to have learned that fans like the cheesy one-liners, and OH MY GAWD do they bring on the cheese with this one! Thankfully it’s the good, natural kind of cheese, and not that disgusting processed stuff.

It’s not before long that things go amiss after Dr. Jane Foster goes and somehow gets infected by this very Aether substance! Hammer senses tingling, Thor immediately realizes that SHIT JUST GOT REAL and proceeds to head back to Earth and find her. Bringing her back to Asgard, they realize how serious things are, just in time for the real villains of this movie to come into play. Christopher Eccleston (The Ninth Doctor himself for you Whovians!), plays the bad-ass Dark Elf Malekith. Now personally, if I had heard that a villain with the name of Dark Elf Malekith was coming after me, I’d have probably screamed like a little girl and run fast as a cheetah… No…; TWO cheetahs, to get the hell out of there. He’s just a straight up fearsome dude, especially when a goliath like Thor is having issues with him!

The real best scenes in this film however, revolve around the relationship between Thor and his brother Loki once again. Loki has come a long way from when he was that quiet, fragile… thing, and has really started to prove himself as one of the best, if not the best actor in the movie. Let’s just say that sibling rivalry reaches some all new levels of craziness here. It’s not done in some sense that you feel the movie is trying to insult your intelligence (like certain sequels involving transforming robots with lots of explosions... who shall remain nameless… ), but rather in the sense that you actually feel like you’re having fun AND being enlightened at the same time.

There are a few little complaints I have about this sequel, though I’m happy to say there really aren’t that many. For one thing, they introduce Jane Foster’s rival of sorts in the romance department, Sif. Strange as it sounds, I actually felt like she and Thor were having a much better relationship throughout the film than Thor and Jane were, and felt like they threw her out just as quickly as they put her in. Another thing is that looking back on the story itself… Well… The story actually wasn’t that good. It can be overlooked because the whole thing is fun anyway, but I can’t think of one moment in the main story that actually stood out to me in any shape or form. The whole thing is just kind of hazy now, and I’m pretty sure that nothing except for specific illegal substances are supposed to make me feel that way.

Maybe the Avengers film just spoiled us, to the point where we won’t accept anything without the same level of quality. I don’t really know. What I do know is that this is still definitely a sequel worth seeing. Just don’t expect any jaw-dropping moments (save for one choice scene near the end, courtesy of Loki and his wacky antics) and you’ll come out feeling like you had a good time.

7 Swings Of The Hammer Out Of 10

I also have to note that the fangirls are getting a little insane with this one. Yes, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are attractive young dudes, but I DON’T need to hear you all squealing about it for the whole movie! The last thing we need is more Twilight-esque rivalries between the two… But if there are, I’m team Loki… Just… throwing that out there… >_>

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My First Impressions Of The Playstation 4

Some of this may come off as rambling, but I feel that’s the best way to get the most of my thoughts out in this particular case. I had a lot of things go through my head as I booted the PS4 up for the first time and saw what Sony is describing as “the future of gaming.” While I don’t know if the “future” is too different from what we have now, it’s still an interesting topic discussion.

First off, we have to talk about the design of this thing. It has a slanted look that makes the whole thing very sleek and artsy-looking. Some may write it off as odd, but I like it. This look comes at a bit of a price however. For one thing, the shape makes it a little difficult to reach around the back if you’re plugging in the connector cables. It also doesn’t help that the system has a bit of a wobble to it. Yes, if you press down on the left side of the system, it will wobble like that annoying table you’ve questioned keeping until you remembered how expensive new tables are. It’s not a deal-breaker or anything (I’ve got mine on a surface that doesn’t even have this problem), but something to note if you were just going to sit it on a flat table. One last bit of weirdness to note is the power and eject buttons. Most people probably won’t even see them (I didn’t!) the first time around. They’re tiny, and placed in between the small crevices of the system’s left-center. Honestly, they’re just odd. I’m not even sure I can call that sleek like the rest of the system, but I could see why people would say it is. The blue/white light that emanates on top of the system is quite nice-looking as well. Everything else is about how you’d expect. 2 USB ports in the front and standard ports in the back round it all up.

The controller tries to take the best features of the Dual Shock 2 and 3 and implement a little bit of touch-pad ability as well. It feels about the same as the previous versions despite, though the analog sticks thankfully aren’t popping out like the previous two iterations, and actually point inward, not unlike the Xbox 360’s controller. I always found this to be the more effective method for analog sticks, and am glad Sony finally caught on to using them this way. The shoulder buttons are about the same as last time for better or for worse (as I still find myself hitting the R2/L2 triggers by accident!).

When you first turn everything on, the visuals aren’t going to look too drastically different from what you’ve seen on the PS3’s dashboard. You mainly have all the same functions as before, but switched around a bit into a setup that some might or might not find easier. Personally, I don’t see much difference, but do feel it is at least a bit smoother than before. Putting in a new game disc can be a bit of an annoyance if you’re hoping to simply start the game right from start up. You will have to install some data onto the hard drive and depending on the game; it could be as high as 50 GB or more per title! Thankfully, I haven’t experienced any games with an install size that high yet, but this could quickly become taxing for those who don’t want to replace their hard drive with a larger one right away. You can also start with all of the same video apps you used previously (Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Crunchyroll, etc.), and they work about the same as they always have.

It’s the game visuals you really want to hear about however, so I’ll get right into that. I played a total of 3 games so far (as well as a timed demo I tried briefly). The first game was Resogun, a shoot-em-up in the vein of classic titles like R-Type and Geometry Wars. While the game itself is simple enough (fly around in a circular plane, blowing up other ships, rescuing people, and upgrading in order to blow up more things and giant bosses), the effects are absolutely stunning to look at. There are particle effects and explosions abound. The game itself is hard as nails, which is just how I like games of this type. I only beat about 2 or 3 stages in my playthrough, but I intend to go back and get even farther next time.

The next game I played was called Contrast, a 3D platformer/puzzle game. It’s hard to fully explain the plot of this game without spoiling a million plot details, but know that it is a 2D/3D platformer in the sense of exploration around Paris in the 1920’s. You play as (at least from what I can tell so far) an imaginary friend of a little girl named Didi, setting off to follow her mother and father, and trying to get them back together again after what appeared to be some hard times for them all. What makes the gameplay interesting more than anything, is your character’s ability to jump into walls with light pointing at them, making you control her shadow in 2D platforming sections. This adds a whole new dimension to the genre, having to make sure lights are pointed in the correct places in order to get through the many obstacles the game throws at you. It starts off with a child-like wonder, which appears to be getting darker as it goes along. I’ve only played the first of the game’s three acts, but I can’t wait to go back. While not graphically the best, the style is simply unforgettable, and it actually makes me jealous and wish I came up with something like it first myself!

Now let’s move on to some bigger stuff. I had some difficulty deciding which launch title to go with for PS4, but finally decided on Assassin’s Creed IV for now. I noticed that Battlefield 4 and others will be in random Black Friday sales (including online), so I will likely go for it then. While virtually the same game as the previous system versions, I did check multiple comparisons between platforms, and sure enough, the PS4 version is the best looking to come out so far (PC and Xbox One versions pending, since they’re not out just yet). The PS4 version also seems to have an extra hour or so of gameplay (according to the box at least!), so that’s another plus. I’ve played every Assassin’s Creed title up until this point, so continuing was no problem for me. Happy to say I’m actually enjoying it a lot more than III as well. I’ve loved the concept of pirates since I was about 3 years old, so this one kind of gobbled me up from the get go. Also interested in seeing where the story will go this time after the events of III kind of left you hanging.

Finally, I also played a demo for a game called Knack. I initially had high hopes for this one because it was from game director/developer/programmer/producer/etc. Mark Cerny. You may recall his name on titles ranging from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, all the way to Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, and so many more. Well, this is his latest project, and while it isn’t quite as great as the titles I listed above, I’d say it still has some of the charm we’ve come to love from his past games. The problem is the gameplay. You move very slow and sluggishly, and the game is also surprisingly hard for the family-friendly audience they’re presenting it to. This may have been intentional on Cerny’s part (especially if one remembers how hard the first Crash Bandicoot game was), but I’m not sure how fun people are going to really find this. While called a 3D platformer, it’s really more of a 3D brawler than anything else. Not that that’s a bad thing necessarily, but throw it up with gameplay that doesn’t really amount to much more than bashing your enemies in and getting taller (ala Katamari Damacy). If the rest of the game doesn’t really progress from this, I’d have a hard time shelling out $60 for it, however I’m sure I’ll play it once it’s come down to below the $30 range someday. With that said , I will give credit where credit is due. The graphics involved in both Knack and the characters he comes to interact/fight with are top notch. It’s hard not to be dazzled by the way everything looks in motion, and some of the other characters may even remind you of that Pixar-esque charm we’ve all come to love.

I really haven’t found myself taking in too many of the system’s new features yet, but I intend to check it all out soon enough. I also have to note that it was incredibly annoying to log in to my PSN account, due to how many times I was kicked out when everyone else was trying to sign on at the same time. Once I was in however, things were pretty smooth from that point on. It’s also nice to see Sony giving a little extra to all early adopters, by adding $10 of PSN shop credit, as well as 30 day trial for their unlimited music service and a free month of their PS+ service.

It’s hard to label this system as a must own at the moment simply because there have not been that many great or unique (first and third-party) titles at launch yet (I’m hearing mixed things about Killzone, and Knack really hasn’t won me over yet either). As of right now, I can only recommend it to the hardcore gamers that want to jump into the action early. For everyone else, it might be better to hold off and wait for some of the better lineup come February/March. That said; I do see great things ahead for this console, and I can't wait to see how things progress in the coming months.

Hope this has been at least somewhat informative for everyone and thanks for reading my rambles!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Deadpool's Spacey Movie Review Of Ender's Game (Spoiler Free, Yada Yada) (2013)

After months in isolation, one man triumphs in reclaiming his homeland…: ME bitches! Deadpool’s back in tha’ house! Here to entertain you, while still informing you at the same time; a line seemingly uncrossed by the likes of cable news channels (ZOMGDIDHEJUSTGOTHEREYESITHINKHEDID!). Today, I come bearing review of a movie that I’m having a hard time believing is finally out. This thing was halted in production multiple times because the book’s author wouldn’t rest until it was as great of an adaptation as possible. So what the heck did we actually get here? READ ON, BECAUSE I’M NOT JUST GOING TO TELL YOU UP HERE, YOU NINNY!

Ender’s Game is based on the classic sci-fi novel, but that infamous and oddly homophobic man, Orson Scott Card (of whom I’m happy to announce to fans, didn’t really make any money from the film itself, so it’s safe to go see it, guilt-free!). Ender Wiggin is a scrawny-looking (although genius!) boy, who is chosen to join Battle School, what is basically a space-age boot camp to become the best of the best and learn how to fight the buggers… Oh wait, they’re not called buggers in the movie? They’re just called Formics?... Damn it Orson Scott Card. Damn it. You start with the little things…

One thing I remember taking from the book (that’s right; I read it. I’m hip. I’m with it.), was the constant amount of bullying that Ender goes through in his quest to reach the top. That’s still all here in full force, and it’s no less painful to see as it was to read about back then. This is some harsh stuff for those who might not be prepared for it. If you didn’t read the book, then I question what kind of sci-fi fan you are in the first place, since it’s pretty much up there with Dune and friends for the highest-rated stories of its genre!

The effects are pretty top-notch all around the board here. The moments that shine the most for the film are definitely Ender’s trials in the anti-gravity chamber (where you’ll see the most futuristic games of Quidditch ever!), and the later scenes which I won’t spoil anything about for those who didn’t already read/watch it. HA, you thought I’d give away plot details, but you’re a fool! A foolishly foolish fool! Read it, you lazy buggers! There, found another use for the word! #giveusbackourbuggers

The actors and actresses pretty much play out their parts the way they were supposed to. Asa Butterfield did a great job as Ender. Some may say he plays kind of a lifeless character, but if you ask me, this is pretty much exactly the way he was portrayed, so I see no issues there. Harrison Ford was also notable as Colonel Graff, who came off more as an older Han Solo, teaching future Rebel Alliance soldiers how to learn the ropes… On another note, I am surprisingly okay with this! Who wouldn’t want to be led into space combat by the nerf herder himself, I ask you!?

Unfortunately for those who have read the book (again, like yours truly #ididntchoosethehipsterlife), you’re also going to notice that they left out quite a hefty bit of material. I wasn’t surprised that this happened, in fact, I was expecting it; but it was still disappointing all the same to see such an intricate book cut down for time. There was an entire subplot in the book, featuring Ender’s brother Peter and sister Valentine, in which the two begin writing faux internet entries as two figures, Lock and Demosthenes, in an attempt for Peter to gain political power, while Valentine can watch over him from a bit of a distance. What was one of the most interesting parts of the whole damn thing was taken out to make time for the more “important” scenes instead. They also kind of half-ass (or is it more like quarter-ass?) the scenes where Ender plays a game that is supposed to test his mind and psyche. Many details are left out and sped up just to get to the point of it all; once again, leaving out so much of what made it such an eye-opening sequence to begin with.

I guess having read the book, I kind of wished there was about a half-hour more. They would have been able to flesh out many more details if the film simply crossed that 2 and a half hour mark. In fact, I’ve got an idea. Release an extended edition of the film (like the people behind The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings movies make a killing off of!), or an “ultimate edition” like we saw with the Watchmen film, making it all come together for those who wanted more. I dunno you guys… Maybe I’m just looking at it the wrong way. If I hadn’t read the book, would I have still wanted more out of this?... Actually, yeah, I probably would.

It’s not a bad film by any means, quite the opposite in fact. It’s just that it could have been so much more than what it was, and it’s going to leave many viewers going hungry, wondering if they just ate Chinese food and got that feeling where it wears off suddenly. It’s still worth seeing, but the impact of it all and the big climax scene near the end just won’t have the same effect that the beautiful papery book goodness provides. #whenbooklovebecomesunhealthy

7 Buggers Out Of 10

Now if we could just do something about the bullying on this planet… Oh well, I guess that’s nothing a new Hunger Games sequel won’t cure, right? See you next time, when the flurry of November blockbusters will continue! Seriously though, I don't have the money for all of these...