Saturday, December 29, 2007

Macross Frontier: Episode 1 Close Encounter, 2 Preview

The idol singer, Sheryl Nome of Macross Galaxy fleet comes for the Galactic Idol concert to the Macross Frontier fleet.

Sheryl Nome is the top idol who is consistently ranked at the top of the charts for the Milky Way network.
Ranka Lee is a huge fan of Sheryl Nome, and dreams to be like her some day. Ranka has a part-time job at the Chinese-style food restaurant Nyun Nyun and is a high school student aboard the Macross Frontier. Ranka has an older brother, Ozma, who leads the special SMS Corps . Ozuma pilots a VF-25 with the skull leader paint scheme with fast packs in the first episode. He scores a ticket for his younger sister Ranka so she can go to the concert but she gets lost trying to take a short cut and meets Alto Saotome, a senior at the same high school. Alto is in the pilot training course at school along with Michel Bran and Luka Angeloni. Alto's peers tease him constantly, calling him princess, and beautiful.

Meanwhile a VF-171 scout ship is destroyed by an unknown enemy as the Macross Frontier moves closer to the center of the galaxy. The Macross then launches a squadron of unmanned Ghosts (seen at the end of M+), the unknown enemy makes quick work of them by using a high range jamming device...I guess Isamu and Guld were justified when they crashed the armistice celebration.

The NUNS scrambles and launches a squadron of VF-171's which finds this unknown enemy more then they can handle soon the SMS corps are called in to assist the NUNS, Ozma and his team engage the enemy as they push towards the Frontier.
Sheryl's concert is cut short when one of the creatures breaks through the dome of the Frontier and begins destroying the city. This is very reminiscent of SDFM in many respects, the colonists flee to shelter as the battle ensues between the main enemy, a red creature with marking that resemble the ones seen in Macross Zero on the Mayan Island and one of Ozma's wingmen. The episode end with Alto jumping into the unmanned VF-25 in Gerwalk mode with the Hikaru paint scheme and unloading it's gunpod into the strange alien.

The episode left me wanting more, the amount of fanservice was terrific! and the icing on the cake was hearing ai oboeteimasuka from DYRL as the credits were scrolling! The Macross dynamic is there, but I wonder if Sheryl Nome is connected to Sarah or Mao from M0. Will we see more of the birdman? I can't wait till the next episode, below is the teaser for episode 2, enjoy!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Movie Review: Aliens VS Predator Requiem

Those four words immortalized by Dutch in the original Predator movie back in 1987...yup it's been 20 years since humanity has been dealing with those ugly mother f'ers! And we haven't learned a dam least Hollywood hasn't. AVP-R begins right where AVP ended, aboard the Predator ship leaving Earth. The corpse of the fallen Predator bursts open to the promise of new life of the "Predalien". Some how that little shit gets loose and grows big enough to kill the entire Predator crew before they leave the Earths atmosphere. Back on the Predators home world a distress signal is received and a sole Predator hops in his trusty galaxy 5 star ship and takes the HOV lane to Earth.
That's pretty much where the creativity and originality ends.
Welcome to Racoon City.......oops I mean Colorado.
This cozy mountain town is in for a rude awakening when Aliens, a Predator with magic blue elixir and some freaky hybrid of the two square off.
Lets just tally up the scorecard...
Homeless guys = dead
Homeless lady = dead
Homeless German Shepard = dead
Park Ranger = dead
Father and son on a hunting trip = dead
Creepy chef = dead
Waitress = dead
A whole Platoon of armed Nation Guard = dead
Evil Jock + Concubine = dead
Power Plant Guy = dead
2 Pot heads tokin up in a gun shop = dead
Husband of Ellen Ripley's great great great great grand mother =dead
Pregnant Lady= dead
Nurse = Dead
Here's what ya need to know in case this shit happens to your town...
1) Find a guy who's named after a state capital
2) Find a woman who knows how to shoot a high powered rifle and drive an armored vehicle
3) Stick with them ^
4) Avoid the evil jock and his cronies
5) Don't forget to get a spare car key from the dealer!
6) Don't EVER, NEVER EVER go swimming with hot chick in class after school is closed.
7) If your little daughter says there's monsters outside...GET THE F*CK OUTTA HOUSE!!!
8) Wear your uniform!
9) Do NOT go to the rendezvous point.
If you are a die hard fan of either franchise this IS NOT a distress signal it's a WARNING!!!
All this movie has going for it is.....some OK fights between a vengeful Predator, a lot of aliens and a Predalien that will do some awful awful things to women who are preggers! Oh yeah we get to see Dallas before he gets everyone dead on the Nostromo, a clone of Newt, and the best impersonation of Ellen Ripley I've ever seen!

Street Fighter IV 1UP's gameplay footage

Well here's the first footage of Street Fighter IV provided by the guys at 1UP!

I was reserving my enthusiasm for this, and honestly if this is footage of a very early beta I'm relieved. Now the game "LOOKS" amazing and the changes to the fighting system sound interesting, I think Capcom's got a winner! Is this the glorious return of the legengary fighting that resurected the dying arcade scene in the US? Time will tell but this footage looks promising. Did you see the facial expressions!?

Movie Review: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Isn't life wonderful? Well for poor, naive Benjamin Barker, a simple man with a beautiful wife and newborn baby girl it was until he was falsely accused of a crime and sent away for years by Judge Turpin. The movie opens with a ship pulling into a London shipyard as a young man, Anthony Hope, sings of the possibilities and potential of London. But he is cut off by the dirge-like melody of Sweeney Todd and his song about London...but feel free to to switch London with Washington or any place these days.
There's a whole in the world like a great black pit
and the vermin of the world inhabit it
and its morals aren't worth what a pin can spit
and it goes by the name of London.
At the top of the hole sit the previlaged few
Making mock of the vermin in the lonely zoo
turning beauty to filth and greed...
I too have sailed the world and seen its wonders,
for the cruelty of men is as wonderous as Peru
but there's no place like London!
I can't see anyone other than Tim Burton and Johnny Depp making this this adaptation of Stephen Sondhiem's musical better, since it is an adaptation of a musical there is singing throughout and what is most impressive is that the only professional singer is the actress who plays the beggar woman. The songs are an integral part of the movie and my personal favorite is a little priest, you've just gotta read the lyrics they're inspired! My favorite part is,
TODD:How choice!HowRare!
TODD:For what's the sound of the world out there?
LOVETT:What, Mr. Todd? What, Mr. Todd? What is that sound?
TODD:Those crunching noises pervading the air!
LOVETT:Yes, Mr. Todd! Yes, Mr. Todd! Yes, all around!
TODD:It's man devouring man, my dear!
TODD:The history of the world, my love --
LOVETT:Save a lot of graves, Do a lot of relatives favors!
TODD:Is those below serving those up above!
BOTH:That those above will serve those down below!
Ahh the metaphors are as thick as blood! I love it!!
Helena Bonham Carter does a wonderful job as Mrs. Lovette and seems just as well cast as Johnny Depp, she has also worked with Burton before, she voiced the lead female character in the Corpse Bride. Her story is almost a tragic as Sweeney Todd's and their fates become intertwined once their "joint venture" gets underway.....ahhh Capitalism!
Another great casting choice was Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin, the man did such a good job playing such a detestable human being. The scenes with Depp when he's in the chair had me at the edge of my seat almost screaming out "DO IT!", tremendous tension during those scenes! Absolutely terrific!
You may recognize Judge Turpin's lackey, Beadle Bamford, from the recent Disney movie Enchanted, he played a similar rolein that movie. Tomothy Spall makes Beadle Bamford so loathesome the audience looks forward to his fateful day.
I loved Sweeney Todd, the music, the actors, the overall experience was incredibly enjoyable and I highly recomend it to everyone, but if you get squeemish at the sight of blood, or bodily mutation don't eat before the show. This movie is not for kids, they will not apreciate it nor understand the themes within it. If $200-$400 a ticket for theatrical thriller is too much to swallow, Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd is well worth the price of admission.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Final Fantasy Dissidia

Another Final Fantasy title announced during Jump Festa is FF: Dissidia. For the 20th Anniversary of Final Fantasy Sqenix is producing a very different type of Final Fantasy for the PSP, Dissidia is a fighting game of sorts that pits the protagonists and antagonists from FFI thru FFIX, maybe X.
The video below showcases fights between Zindane and Kuja from FFIX and Cecil and Kain from FFIV and closes with the Warrior of light facing off against....Sephiroth! The game is planned for the PSP, where was this title at the PSP's launch!? It would've /will sell many PSP's! Dissidia sounds pretty cool! Chaos vs Cloud, Sephiroth vs Ultimecia, Emperor Palmecia vs Tidus! Can't wait for this game to be released.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Macross Frontier

Twenty Five years ago, in 1982 the anime Super Dimension Fortress Macross aired in Japan, and was brought to America by Harmony Gold reworked as Robotech. As a child I was drawn into the story and later rediscovered the Macross series in it's true form. More recently I've enjoyed new additions to the Macross Saga including Macross Plus and Macross Zero. So I'm extremely excited to discover on the 25th anniversary of the original Macross Saga Big West will be airing a new series around April 2008 on the Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS)! MF will continue the series tradition of love and music set to the backdrop of humanities struggle to survive against all odds. I hope this series makes it to the US unaltered due to the ongoing legal issues between Big West and HG.
For now enjoy the trailer below and be sure to check out the Macross Frontier web site

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Street Fighter IV

The announcement that Capcom was finally bringing out a new Street Fighter was announced about two months ago. The trailer was released and ever since the internet has been alive with speculation, will the series go 3-D, will it be cell shaded like Okami, aside from Ryu & Ken who will return, will it be online, will it be released on current next gen consoles??? Alot of fans, including myself are excited to see that their favorite fighting game is returning. The January issue of EGM just hit shelves today and we can now see for ourselves the newest iteration of Street Fighter! The following pics are from a beta version of the game which is aprox. 2% complete, the background is about 50% complete and the Ryu / Ken characters are 90% complete. So what other "world warriors" are returning? Well we know Ryu and Ken are, Chun Li and Dhalsim have been given the green light but that's all that's been announced though producer Yoshinori Ono has said he wants as many SFII characters as possible.
Ono also mentions Street Fighter IV will be online! That means possible downloadable content, new stages, characters etc.
Yoshinori Ono wants the game play to be second nature for Street Fighter enthusiasts and comfortable enough for new comers, but there will be new aspects for Street Fighter IV such as Revenge (rage meter) that's divided in four sections, activate a revenge move by holding down 1 punch and one kick button (jab & short) then release for a revenge move. If the player holds the two buttons down and charges 3/4's of the rage meter the move becomes unblockable, but tourney players will love the depth of the revenge meter also, if you have skills you can cancel the revenge move mid animation and perform an EX Hadoken with 2 punch buttons then cancel that mid animation and perform an EX Shoryuken with two punch buttons and finally cancel that mid animation and perform another EX Shoryuken thus using each quarter of the rage meter individually to string together and wicked combo! The other new aspect is Ultras O.o, there's still Supers arts but ultras require a full super meter and at least one bar in the revenge meter to be filled. Like Ryu's Shinkuu Hadoken the movement is the same except you must press 2 punch or kick buttons to perform the Ultra, and during the move the games camera will pan and zoom to
give a cinema style show of the pain being given!

Final Fantasy Agito XIII

Returning to our coverage of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, the third title in the series is Final Fantasy Agito XIII. This game is rumored to be for mobile phones but I suspect it will also be available for the PSP, but don't hold me to that as it's just a hunch of mine. The few scraps of media lead me to believe this title will be in the vien of Naruto as it appears there's 12 students in....Final Fantasy school. Perhaps we'll be see a trailer soon, for now check out the collection of images I have dug up.

Monday, December 17, 2007

TDK trailer

Hey kiddies why so serious?
Love that Joker >.<

Final Fantasy versus XIII Jump Festa Trailer

Plenty of Final Fantasy goodness from Square's Jump Festa this month. Below is the extended trailer for FF vs XIII. This title in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series still remains the most shrouded in secrecy. In the video it states it's a fantasy based in reality....not much to go on there. Enjoy the video and the scans from PS3 focus mag.

Final Fantasy XIII Extended Trailer

Check out this extended trailer for FFXIII, just one of several games for the Fabula Nova Crystallis series. The game is looking great, we get to see more of Lightning and her gunblade. It's strange that the two trailers released spotlight her yet Squeenix reported earlier in the year that she wasn't the main protagonist. The quality of the in game video and the cutscenes seem to be getting more and more difficult to distinguish. And we get our first glimpse of what is rumored to be Shiva. The game continues to appear to branch further and further from a traditional RPG and more like an action title, only time and PS3 owners will tell! I forsee PS3 console sales to continue to rise as the A titles like this get closer to release date.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cloverfield Preview

JJ Abrams Monster Mash is little over a month away but here's the first few mins to whet your appetite!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

AVP-R Preview

Aliens Vs Predator was ok but there were some scenes that made you go huh?
Aliens Vs Predator Requiem actually picks up right where the first ended aboard the Predators ship.
It looks promising but I'm going in with zero expectations.
Enjoy the first five mins of AVP-R thanks to!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Anime Review: Macross Zero

Back in 1982/83 an anime was created that to this day is my all time favorite, that anime is The Super Dimension Fortress Macross.

Macross is the story of a giant interstellar battle fortress that crashes on South Ataria Island in the South Pacific in the year 1999. For the next decade humanity attempts to unite under the formation of U.N. government and rebuild the ship.

This is where Macross Zero's story begins, 2008, the U.N Wars escalate and the Anti-U.N & U.N forces clash near the small South Pacific Island of Mayan.

The first episode of this 5 episode OVA,Ocean and Wind, introduces us to F-14 fighter pilot Shin Kudo. After being shot down by the Anti UN's newest fighter, the SV-51, he wakes on the Mayan Island (the island where the ocean and wind mix). He meets Sarah Nome (the hand guided by the wind),a shamen who can hear the will of the wind and her sister Mao Nome who seems to have a connection with the ocean. The inhabitants of Mayan are a primitive, tribal people that seem to live in peaceful harmony with nature and are unaware of the war around them. They pass on their traditions via the spoken word and tell the youth of how humans originally lived in the ocean and how when the aliens, "birdmen" came to earth.

Meanwhile on the Asuka II Aircraft Carrier Roy Focker reunites with an old friend, Aries, a cultural anthropologist he went to school with years ago. After her briefing of the discovery of a new energy source detected near Mayan, thought to be "AFOS", left behind by the the aliens aproximately ten thousand years ago the two catch up briefly. The next day Roy Focker is set to pilot the first live battle with VF-0, the first variable fighter!

Back on Mayan Shin spends time with Mao and Sarah as they each show him aspects of life on Mayan.

The seeds are planted.....

The peace and tranquility are shattered when Sarah foresees a violent wind headed for the Mayan Island and an arial dog fight breakes loose over Mayan between Roy Focker and the VF-0 and a SV-51. The first time you see the transformation of VF-0 will leave you speachless! The mix of cell drawn artwork with CG graphics is well balanced and looks fantastic!

Episode 2: The Stars on the Ground continues with the telling of the Mayan lore about Rooy Kanu, Rooylo and their children, how Rooylo left and the song of destruction engulfed the earth. The Elder tells the story all in the backdrop of a war that is enveloping the Mayan Island, high above Roy Focker comes face to face with his former flight instructor D.D.Ivanov who switched aliegences and joined the Anti -UN army. The battle is faced paced and very impressive, the detail of the fighters using CG is incredible. It's almost believeable seeing Roy's valkerie manuever thru the landscape, ailerons adjusting to change airspeed and altitude!

The battle concludes between the two in a stalemate while DD's wing mate, Nora Polyansky, takes on the rest of Fockers skull squadron. Roy finds shin and the two return to the Asuka II as the UN forces pull a large section of AFOS from the ocean floor. UN researchers begin to analyze the artifact and note the similarities with ASS-1, which stands for Alien Star Ship 1aka SDF-1.

Meanwhile Shin begins training as a VF-0 pilot under Roy Focker. Later Roy sends Shin on a mission to protect LaSalle while she visits Mayan to conduct further research on the island people. Mao and Shin meet again as he returns to the village. Later that night Shin is woken by the feint sound of a song, he follows the song into the forest to finds Sarah and discovers the power of her song...

Episode 3: The Blue Death begins at the sacred fountain with Shin and Sarah. Aries and her guard Edgard meet up with Sarah and Shin, Aries sees the stones with ancient mayan markings and recalls Professor Hussel Nakajima's notes on human-protoculture intervention.

Back aboard the Asuka blood begins too drip from the torso of AFOS, after some analyizing it's discovered it's the same as Sarah's.

Later that day Mao takes Shin on a snorkeling trip to see her "treasure", this visually impressive scene hints toward the connection between the cheiftan's story of creation and the evolving relationship between ,Mao, Shin and Sarah. Mao makes her feelings known to Shin in this episode when she kisses him. We also discover the treasure is the Shard of Elysium...the head of AFOS.

The Shard of Elysium activates and the UN / Anti UN forces scramble to retrieve the head and steal the torso aboard the Asuka II. During this battle Roy and DD resume their personal grudge match and Nora heads out to take the head of AFOS.

In a daring rescue Shin saves Mao and the head of AFOS from an Anti UN deep sea unit. Shin brings Mao back to Maya moments before the battle spills onto the shores, UN forces begin to evacuate the Mayan people as the battle rages all around the village. Sarah decides to test fate and runs off into the forest, Nora intercepts Shin as he tries to return to the Asuka II with the head of AFOS. The dogfight ends in a draw as both crash in the mayan forest and the head is lost again.

Episode 4:The Secret Forest Shin and Sarah are captured by the relentless Nora and the Anti UN forces. Aries is captured also and the three are introduced to Professor Hussel Nakajima. The professor explains the tale of the Birdman and the song of destruction. During their ongoing dogfight DD damages Roy Focker's VF-0 and he crashes the the party. Roy grabs Aries and the two escape into the forest. Shin and Sarah escape as well. Nora puts in a call to the Anti UN flagship to nuke the island.

Meanwhile the two couples wander aimlessly through the forest,Roy and Aries recount their memories from their past and wonder how the two would've been IF...

Meanwhile elsewhere in the forest Sarah and Shin spend the time consoling each other. Shin begins to understand Sarah's feelings toward life outside of the beautiful Mayan Island and reveals his feelings for Sarah. But the peace and beauty of the moment is forever destroyed when the island is carpet bombed by a squadron of SV-51's carrying hydrogen bombs.

Episode V: The Birdman begins with the Anti UN Forces retrieving the head of AFOS and capturing Aries and Sarah. Roy and Shin return to the Asuka II where the war between the UN and Anti UN has come to a boiling point. Mao awakes after having a transfusion using AFOS blood. The two parts of AFOS begin to activate and Mao begs Shin to save her sister.

Meanwhile Professor Hassel on board the Anti UN flagship pleads with Sarah to sing the song of destruction to end the war.

Roy and Shin board retro-fitted VF-0's and launch in a last ditch effort to save the women they love. The final battle of the war begins! Shin and Roy against DD and Nora push the limits of their skills in a final showdown in the clouds. Shin is able to reach the ship Sarah is held captive on but his Valkerie takes a fatal shot to the head and plummets to the ground below, Sarah cries out in distress and awakens the birdman. The two parts unite in the midst of the climactic battle and begins destroying all the large warships.Shin regains conscience just before plummeting into the ocean, and is astonished to see the legendary Birdman and Sarah controlling it through her song.

Does Shin save Sarah? Does Roy save Aries? Does the earth get destroyed by the Birdman? I won't ruin it for you, Macross Zero is another gorgeous addition to the legacy of Macross, all the aspects that made the original Macross a timeless classic are here, Valkeries, War, love triangles, music, and dealing with the loss of loved ones. Macross Zero does an amazing job of showing the contrasting beauties of a tropical paradise and the CG Mecha, which is also represented in both Shin and Sarah's views of the necessities of life. Each new Macross focuses on a different type of music, in M0 it's much less traditional. Sarah's song feels more ethereal than say Minmay, Fire Bomber or Sharron Apple. Regrettibly this is another great chapter from Macross that you will only get to enjoy subbed due to the BW/HG lawsuit. And the subtitles are garbage, this review may have some mistakes in character names because of the piss poor subtitles. The Story is fascinating and takes the evolution of mankind and blends it with Macross lore. It was also fun to see Roy Focker pre SDF-1 and another La Salle. I wonder if we'll see more of Shin or Sarah in the Future?The OVA is presented in 16:9 ratio, offers either english or chinese subs and the choice of dolby 5.1 or 2.0 stereo.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Movie Review: Enchanted

Hey guys remember dragging your girl to see Transformers this summer? Well here's your payback!
As cool as Transformers was for guys seeing Optimus Prime transform and fight Megatron in the middle of a city while Bumblebee gets towed around by Megan Fox, women and girls will once again believe that there are princes out there and they can find their one true love thanks to this movie.
The movie starts out in some magical land where the fair maiden, Giselle, looks for her true love. In typical Disney fashion a Prince happens upon this lovely maiden in distress and rescues at first sight yadayada yada. Well Prince Edward, chivalrous, strapping, and handy with a sword vows to wed Giselle. But what Disney movie is without the evil stepmother, and Prince Edwards mother Narissa isn't about to give up her crown so easily and devises a scheme to get rid of Giselle, push her down into the bottomless well!
Well there is a bottom. New York City. And not the animated kind.
This is where the story actually becomes bearable for men. What would happen to Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Belle or any of the other Disney Princesses in real life? The story suddenly becomes more adult when Giselle is picked up by divorce attorney/single parent Robert Phillip (Jack Dempsey from Grey's Anatomy). Robert finds Giselle roaming the streets of Manhattan in her ultra fru fru wedding gown and offers to assist her. Back at home Giselle meets Roberts daughter, Morgan. What Robert sees as a "troubled individual" Morgan sees as a princess. Giselle tells them she's waiting for her one true love, Edward, to come find her. Over the next couple days Giselle learns all about the "real world" as she waits for Prince Edward who heroically goes after Giselle and parades around Manhattan in his princely attire. Seeing Cyclops running around Manhattan in in his fru fru out fit waving his rapier around may sound altogether fruity but is actually very funny.
In Disney fairy tales love conquers all...but we're in NYC and those rules definitely do not apply and we soon see how Giselle's time in the real world changes this once bubbly, love conquers all, innocent maiden when Prince Edward finally finds his one true love.
Little girls will love this movie for the obvious reasons but there's also another, more adult story lined in this fairy tale...but like ALL great Disney movies there is a happily ever after.
Now bring on Transformers 2!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Movie Review: We Own the Night

We Own the Night stars some of Hollywood's heavy hitters like Robert Duvall, Joachim Pheonix, Mark Wahlberg and Eva Mendez. It takes place in the late eighties where Bobby Green (Joachim Pheonix) manages the El Caribe nightclub in Brooklyn. Unlike his brother Joe (Mark Wahlberg) and father (Robert Duvall) who's the deputy police chief he's chosen a much different life, he lives for the excitement that comes with the nightlife, the women, the booze and drugs and the shady people who go along with that lifestyle. Bobby has embraced the lifestyle and is a shrewd business man looking to expand into NYC and shares his plans with the owners, a Russian family that he has befriended.
Events are set in motion when his brother raids Bobby's club in an attempt to catch a ruthless gangster who is frequently dealing there. Later a hit is put on Joe and is gunned down in front of his house. Bobby feels responsible and offers to assist in an undercover sting operation that his father is not aware of, the plan goes south and Bobby barely escapes with his life. Now Bobby must be put in protective custody until he can testify, but the drug dealing Russian gangster escapes and finds out where Bobby's hiding. After a deadly car chase/shootout Bobby decides to switch sides and joins the NYPD.
This sounds like an amazing story with plenty of opportunity for drama, but the movie dragged in many places for me, like the scene when Joe returns home from the hospital or the Q Motor Inn scene, the final minutes of the film were a snooze fest for me. I wasn't to crazy for the role Mark Wahlberg played in this movie, I liked his character much better in The Departed. Joachim Pheonix seemed more comfortable playing the club manager and did well with it but seemed lethargic and borderline bored playing the cop. He didn't seem very energetic by the end of the movie. There were some great moments of tension like the scene where Bobby is brought to the secret location blindfolded and the car chase scene with Robert Duvall but the momentum always seemed to be broken by Bobby's friends, Amanda or NYPD. A perfect example of the flow of this movie is at the very beginning when Bobby and Amanda are making out in his office, that was a great scene but was interrupted by the phone! Another thing, I didn't see the brotherly chemistry between Wahlberg and Pheonix either. And the surprise revelation at the end about who was trafficking the drugs was apparent from the me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Movie Review: The Kingdom

I dragged my wife to see The Kingdom, she hadn't heard of it, and if it weren't for word of mouth at work I probably would've overlooked it also. After checking out the 4 minute intro at [url=]Yahoo Movies[/url] I was really interested to see more. The story takes place after terrorist attack inside a Western housing compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jaime Foxx) assembles a team Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Chris Cooper and negotiates a five-day trip into Saudi Arabia to locate the people responsible for the bombing. Once there they find their efforts hindered by the local protocol. With the help of Colonel Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhoum) the team begins their investigation.
I really liked this movie, it felt very similar to Black Rain, Cops/FBI go to Japan/Saudi Arabia to solve crime. Fueled by anger looking for revenge their progress is hindered by local authorities modus operandi. They team up with Masahiro/Al-Ghazi to solve the crime. This is not a bad thing as I really enjoyed Black Rain.The movies intro is interesting and helps set up what transpires next. The attack on the compound will grab the audience I guarantee it! The movie does a good job of keeping the audience on their guard, throughout the movie there's a sense of danger where ever Jaime Foxx and his FBI team are. The sets are very impressive, you'll be hard pressed to tell the movie wasn't shot in Saudi Arabia....if it weren't for common sense. The compound scene is eerily similar to many locations we've seen on TV that have been attacked by terroroists. I haven't seen too many movies with Jaime Foxx but I was genuinely impressed with him in this movie, Chris Cooper had a background role, Jennifer Garner more than redeemed herself for Elektra, one fight scene she's in was just as crazy as any fight scene in any of the Bourne movies, and Jason Bateman supplied the laughs and the'll understand what I mean if you watch the movie.The last 30 mins of the movie is balls to the wall intense! That's all I'll say, go see for yourself! What I really liked was the message that the movie gives us, violence begets violence.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Anime Movie Review: Appleseed

Before Major Motoko Kusanagi and Bateau there was Deunan Knute and Briareos from Shirow Masamune's manga Appleseed. The story revolves around the couple who are members of ES.W.A.T, Olympus's special forces that protect the surreal peace and tranquility of the city state.
The story takes Deunan from the war torn badlands where a war that has ended years ago still goes rages on. Brought back to Earths last remaining city, Olympus. Here she is reunited with her ex Briareos who is now seventy five percent machine. Olympus appears to be paradise, a utopia of sorts, but all is not as it seems in Olympus. The story begins to unfold when Hitomi, a Bioroid, explains that the half the population of Olympus is actually bioroid to help qwell human emotion and maintain the peace and tranquility. But there are some who resent the bioroids intervention with humanity and stage a terrorist assault on the bioroid care center where bioroid life extention is administered, thus causing bioroid genoside. After a special session of congress is assembled Prime Minister Athena declares marshal law without the assistance of the Olympus regular army lead by General Uranus an avid anti bioroid supporter.The only way to save the bioroids now is to unlock the secret of Appleseed.
Shirow Masamune once again pushes the limits of CG animation, the visuals of Appleseed are simply amazing, the first few minutes of the post apocalyptic fight scene alone rival that of top hollywood blockbusters such as Terminator. The story isn't childsplay either, this anime deals with aspects such as racism, human preservation and evolution, fate, love, trust and betrayal and even has shades of Issaac Asimov's I robot and the laws that govern all robots.
The Appleseed soundtrack has some sweet tracks from world famous DJ Paul Oakenfold, the Basement Jaxx, Boom Boom Satellites rocking track I will dive for you and others. The movie is rated R and has a running time of an hour and 45 minutes. Appleseed features Dolby Digital 5.1 and is presented in anamorphic widescreen, extras include commentary by Director Shinji Aramaki and Producer Sori, Staff profiles and music/scene cues. Check out for more.
Also check out the upcoming Appleseed ExMachina DVD website

Friday, July 6, 2007

Movie Review: Transformers

As a kid that grew up in the 80's, I was lucky to be blessed with such animated masterpieces such as Voltron, Robotech, Galaxy High, Thunder Cats, Jem and the Holograms, Dungeons & Dragons, GI Joe, and Transformers! Of all those classic cartoons one grabed kids imagination more than any other and it was the Transformers, not only were the toys really cool but the show was great, at least it was when I was a kid with an over active imagination.
The battle between the valiant Autobots and the evil Decepticons has raged for over 3 decades, been made into an animated feature length film, has had multiple comic adaptations and has now been brought back to the silver screen in a live action summer blockbuster ($309,420,425)! Not bad considering Optimus Prime was going up against Spidey and Jack Sparrow, but that might of been part of the reason Transformers did such phenomenal sales at the box office. I had been following the news of this movie since June of 2003 over at PDT and the feelings of Trans-fans stretched the spectrum from avid disgust at not being faithful to the canon to childish glee at seeing their favorite childhood cartoon coming to celuloid reality.
I fell somewhere in the middle, cautiously optimistic, and after seeing it I can say it did what needed to be done. It told a story of transforming beings from the planet Cybertron that came to Earth to find a source of energy. The Autobots lead by Optimus Prime and the Decepticons commanded by Megatron,a boy named Witwicky who befriends the Autobots and giant robots kicking the crap outta each other. All the rest was filler to grab as many Trans-noobs as possible...apparently it worked! My only complaint about the movie is John Turturo, he might be a great actor, but for the love of Cybertron, what script was he given!? If I could I'd cut every single scene with sector seven and replace it with some Decepticon transmissions with Cybertron. That is all I will say about the movie's short comings because it's a fun movie that will grab your attention with it's squirel-on-crack pace. And the work ILM did on the visuals was as impressive as the T-Rex in JP when I first saw that!
I did apreciate the fan service sprinkled throughout like, "One shall stand, one shall fall" and "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings".
The special transforming DVD case from Target is also pretty cool, too bad DW sold out to Microsoft because there are alot of consumers who would've bought it on Blu-ray, my self included.
Some fun extras to bring fans back to their childhood and show new fans how rich the Transformers mythos goes.
Looking forward to T2!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Anime Review: Eureka Seven

Music, Mecha and Love, no I'm not talking about Macross,  but this series absolutely captured the aspects that made me love anime in the first place!
I never thought I'd see another anime series that made me remember love, like Hikaru and Minmay from the original SDF Macross.

 After watching the final episode of Eureka Seven I am over joyed to say I got to witness such an amazing anime! I can honestly say Eureka Seven is absolute magic to behold! Visually Eureka Seven is spectacular from the character designs; every member of the Gekko State is unique and memorable from Renton, the boy who idolizes the Gekko State and dreams of one day being a member because of what he's read about them through the magazine Ray=Out and Eureka, the mysterious girl Renton falls in love with who is called mamma to three children Maurice Maeter and Linck. Despite the reality of the situations around them Renton and Eureka grow closer and closer throughout the series and as Renton searches for a purpose for being aboard the Gekko he resolves to protect Eureka no matter what (sounds awfully familiar to Hikaru's decision for joining the UN Spacey Forces!)

Holland is the leader of the Gekko State, prior to that he was a member of the UN Forces, SoF division with Talho and Eureka under his brother Dewey. During an attack on the Voderac, Holland comes face to face with the high preist Norb who shows Holland the truth about the Scub Coral and Eureka. After that Holland defects and steals the Gekko Go and takes Eureka and Talho with him. Talho is the Gekko's pilot and Hollands girlfriend. There are other relationships throughout the series such as  Moondoggie and Gidget, Matthieu and Hilda, Dominic and Anemone, Will B. and Martha,  Charles and Ray....who I felt were designed to pay homage to old school anime designs such as characters from the series Galaxy Express 999.

These relationships represented different stages and obstacles people face while dating from the casual "friends with benefits" to the complex, (she liked my brother first but is with me now but I still think about an ex from way back when...)
  Throughout the series as Renton and Eureka continue to get closer all these stages and obstacles of relationships don't seem to affect them, they seem impervious to all the drama that complicates love. First love is truly magical and Renton & Eureka represent that.

Eureka Seven also boasts some unique and beautiful environments the colors of the clouds, the names of locales, everything seems familiar but just foreign enough to be another world.
The originality of the culture of the Gekko State was fantastic! Think of a group of surfers that have acquired a state of the art military grade aircraft that fight against a world stuck in a military state.

The mecha design was also refreshing, The Nirvash type ZERO was an interesting spin on the typical Mecha...a variable that can transform into a car. I like the idea that the Mecha also require a ref board to stay airborne. Unlike many anime that I've seen that feature large Mecha the Nirvash and the END were an interesting cross between a biological entity and a machine. Clearly there was a symbiotic relationship between the pilot and the mecha. And as Eureka evolved so did the Nirvash type ZERO.
As previously mentioned there are aspects of Eureka Seven that remind me of my favorite anime series Macross, and then there's this scene from episode 26 Morning Glory which is the greatest homage to one of the greatest Anime series ever.

 Eureka Seven is an absolute must see for any fan of anime! For many younger viewers Eureka Seven might be their introduction to the world of anime and will have a lasting place in their heart.
Eureka Seven is without a doubt in my top 5 favorite anime of all time!