Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review

4 years and almost 3 billion in box office earnings later Michael Bay's Transformers trilogy is over....I can't say complete because these three movies are anything but, except a complete waste of time and money.
The first movie left me a glimmer of hope that the next film would be even better....it wasn't http://willsfreeswim.blogspot.com/2009/06/transformers-revenge-of-fallen.html
Now after all the excuses and hype we get Transformers: Dark of the Moon, was it good? In my opinion no, were the effects impressive? Yes, but this is the third movie and by now using the crutch that these are special effects blockbusters doesn't cut it.
In TDotM we are introduced to two major new characters Sentinel Prime, previous leader of the Autobots before handing the Matrix down to Optimus and Shockwave. The later is what got me to go see this movie, as a kid I thought Shockwave was the coolest Decepticon and the original Marvel comics series solidified that with Transformers issue # 5. This movie failed miserably to capture the essence of Shockwave and most of the primary Transformers. But when your design for Shockwave reminds me of the cinematic jem D-Wars...you've really done something incredibly wrong!
Back to Sentinel Prime...I liked the design, I was impressed they got Leonard Nemoy to voice the character and for the most part I was ok with the way they retconed the Autobot leader history with Sentinel Prime but the hardcore fans will cry foul. I would have preferred seeing the G1 Alpha Trion story where he takes a damaged Orion Pax and rebuilds him into Optimus Prime The first "leader" of the new Autobot army.....oh well, another fanboy dream dashed!
Ok lets change gears for a second to the fleshlings, Shia LeBeouf as Sam Witwicky, I liked the character in the first movie...a little less in the second and even less in this movie...I can't tell if it's the character that's changed or the actor.
Sam's new girlfriend Carly Spencer played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley aside from eye candy was useless, and when she got all up in Megatron's grill talking smack....I threw up a little in my mouth. I would've preferred Sam to be single and trying to make his way in the real world, than the panty waist he came across as in DotM. 

John Turturro yet again comes across as complete douchebag...I've never seen a character span an entire trilogy as absolutely irritating and poorly developed as Agent Simmons. It's unfortunate Steve Buscemi wasn't available for the role....I honestly believe he would've done a much better job.
Ma and Pa Witwicky are back and I'm happy to say they're not as utterly retarded as in RotF. 
Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson  put in solid performances in DotM and their characters have been the most consistent and enjoyable through these movies for me.  

Now for the new fleshlings in the series! 
Dylan Gould played by Patrick Dempsey, I feel the character would've worked better with Megan Fox's character Mikaela, the first two movies we learn she's good under the hood and her pops was a car thief...with her being replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Dylan Gould and Carly Spencer seem disjointed and out of place in this movie.

Bruce Brazos played by John Malkovich...wait who!? The John Malkovich, I'm sure the ONLY reason he did this is for the paycheck. Cool that he's in the movie but really over qualified actor in my opinion.

And then there's Ken Jeong...this "little" guy seems to be everywhere since the hangover! He plays Jerry Wang and is in one of the most outrageous scenes in any of the 3 movies involving Sam Witwicky, Jerry Wang and a bathroom stall...nuff said. Suffice it to say I was glad to see Jerry Wang plummet to his death.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Buzz Aldrin cameo, seeing Buzz Aldrin talking to Optimus Prime was pretty geektacular. 

Once the assault on Chicago got underway DotM hit a good pace and all the superfluous crap went to the back burner, the airborne jump above the battle by Lennox and the army forces was epic! And I have to admit the scenes with Sam, Epps and his squad trying to make their way to Cary and Dylan was also epic. As mentioned earlier I was not impressed with Shockwave, more exactly the cybernetic worms he controlled...what the hell were they!?
The other glaring problem I had with DotM was the significant lack of screen time Megatron had. We see him briefly in Africa then briefly throughout the assault on Chicago it's not till he rips Sentinel a new one, but then seems to revert back to a feeble shell of his former glory and then Optimus totally does something so out of character it had me go WTF!? 

To sum up my feelings for DotM and all 3 movies It's not like we're looking for Shakespearian quality for a Transformers movie but if they had used the G1 series as a foundation for these 3 movies I honestly believe they would've been infinitely better than the crap Bay put on the screen. The work ILM put into bringing these robots to life is absolutely spectacular but I truly dispised the design of some of them. The elementary school scripts, obnoxious human characters, nauseating dialog and mind numbing inattention to detail has me depressed when you factor in these movies have made almost 3 BILLION dollars in worldwide BO sales.....WTF PEOPLE!!!

Someone is going to sit down one day and watch these 3 movies back to back and realize that in the first movie Megatron chases the All Spark from Cybertron to Earth and crashes in the arctic for millions of years, In the second Movie Megs needs Optimus Prime Dead to find the Autobot Matrix to power the Sun Harvestor but in the third movie Megs needs Optimus Alive to find and revive Sentinel Prime in order to power the space bridge to...these movies make guys like me who grew up watching the G1 series cringe.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon was better than Revenge of the Fallen but that's not anything to celebrate about.

Monday, June 27, 2011

NCR9 SFXT single elim tourney

At this years NCR9 Justin Wong, Ricky Ortiz, and some other familiar names from the fighting game tournament circuit had a chance for some hands on time with SFXT, check it out below!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Super 8 Review

I think Super 8 is going to be a love it / hate it. I loved it, I also grew up watching movies like The Goonies, Poltergiest, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. and this movie reminded me of all these childhood favorites so I think part of my enjoyment of Super 8 comes from my nostalgia. If you didn't grow up in the time these movies were made you might not find the movie as enjoyable....yes before there was the interwebs we used our imaginations and found things to do outside in the big scary world!
The story takes place in a little fictional town in Ohio, Lillith, where 6 kids spend their summer making a zombie movie with their super 8mm camera. Charlie is the writter/ director of the movie, Joe Lamb is the make up artist for the zombie movie, his father, newly widowed, is the towns deputy who blames Louis Dainard, his wife's coworker at the local factory for her death. Alice Dainard, Louis' daughter agrees to be in Charlies movie as the wife of the detective played by Martin. And little Cary contributes as the "resident evil"/ pyrotechnics guru.
While filming a scene at a local train station one night the group witnesses a huge accident where a freight train gets derailed by a pickup truck the group finds their biology teacher behind the wheel. He warns the kids to never speak about the accident or they'll be killed. Charlie, Alice and the group flee just as the military arrive, Charlie picks up one of the mysterious cubes that are scattered all over from the wreckage.
As the group struggles to continue their movie Joe's father begins investigating strange events occurring in Lillith, like the disappearance of people, including the sheriff, missing engine blocks and power lines, neighborhood pets leaving the town and the arrival of the US Air Force.
As the military presence escalates and the town begins to slip into a state of panic, the relationship between Joe and Alice begins to grow....to the chagrin of Charlie. The two find common  ground in the factory incident  mentioned earlier, but their parents both vehemently forbid  them from seeing each other.
Soon afterwards Alice is is abducted by whatever the USAF is trying to keep secret, the town is evacuated and Joe must convince his friends to help rescue Alice...

Super 8 brought me back to my youth and to a much less cynical time in my life and I don't care if some reviewers say JJ Abrams copied Spielbergs older works or it's not original, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie! Dakota Fanning's sister Elle was spectacular and reminded me of a young Drew Barrymore. And the chemistry between her and Joel Courney felt real and completely believable. The rest of the gang were fun and had that goonies-like chemistry, instead of  Richard "data" Wang we got "boom boom" Cary.
The setting and time frame was a welcome return, the story was well balanced with enough lighthearted moments that didn't feel forced to keep the story from becoming too dark and depressing, the only scene that felt off to me was the scene when Joe and the guys are scrambling thru Lillith trying to rescue Alice. I kept thinking to myself "This totally reminds me of Exodus in Modern Warfare 2!"
The train derailment scene was intense! It made the one in The Fugitive looks boring!
And finally I think young Joel Courtney did a great job, I believe this is his first major role in movies....I really enjoyed the scenes he shared with Elle and I think he has a bright future ahead of him!
If you enjoyed Super 8 I recommend seeing the Iron Giant, the two movies are very familiar and are equally enjoyable!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

EVO 2k11 anouncement trailer

Courtesy of SRK here's the first announcement for EVO 2k11!

SSX @ E3 2011 w/ Todd Batty

The first game I had for PS2 was SSX....that game really flew under the game mags radars at first...I loved it! I skipped Tricky,  but when SSX3 came out I had it on day one! I still play it from time to time....the game is amazing from the music to the visuals to the gameplay....it was and IMO still is the best snowboarding game ever made! I'm a bit apprehensive about a few things with this new SSX title,
1. Why segregate the different game types? Ride it, trick it, survive it. OK tag line but SSX3 had all that incorporated in the game! Todd Baty talks about "reimagining the franchise" the franchise doesn't NEED to be reimagined, just expand on SSX3 with 1080P graphics!
2. The control scheme Tod Baty mentions in the E3 vids sounds very limiting compared to the SSX3 control scheme....Custom ubers??? I don't see how with this new control scheme.
3. Shockwave destroys the flow....GTFO
4. I want DJ atomica back! And have a different DJ for each mountain, kinda like GTA radio stations...choose your favorite music genre and DJ to ride to.
5 I hate the camera angle shown for Survive It runs. Just incorporate the physics engine/environmental dangers Batty is hyping thru out the games mountains ISO making it a separate gametype.
6. I understand it's a pre alpha buid but the tricks demonstrated in the interviews looked so generic....custom tricks need to be in SSX
7. I'm called Batty's bluff on "total open world" riding....that's some serious Bravo Sierra!
8. Where's my Uber Meter? Get rid of the HUD stuff
9. Grinding looked "off"
10. Can we please just call this game SSX4?

Friday, June 10, 2011

E3 PS Vita Reveal!

Kaz Hirai unveils the real name of the NGP...henceforth it shall be known as PS Vita... :/
Kaz touches on the awesome features of the Vita like Dual Analog sticks, front and rear cameras, 5" OLED screen the partnership with AT&T, and Near...I'm not too clear what Near is but I assume it magically finds other PS Vita's in range.

SSX @ E3 2011

I've been following this game since it was announced a few months back and I'm super uber psyched by this trailer! 
Here's some 411 from a member of Merqurycity.com an SSX fansite.

-There are a lot of f***ing mountains in this game.
-The menu is great.
-Mountains are not open sandboxes. Topographic data is (presumably) being used as the foundation for enclosed levels and the 3D skyboxes. They'll probably make it so there's no need for an "Out of Bounds" reset thing, but the tracks do have boundaries. I think this is a good move on their part.
-The boarding feels more weighty than past games, like the characters preserve momentum (no spinning on a dime just by holding left or right).
-The trick-system and controls are yet to be nailed down.
-You can use either the R stick or X/A button to jump.
-Steering and winding spins/flips is (for now) all on the L stick.
-You select loadouts for each event, which has at least enough flexibility to require a "chance of success" metric.
-I had fun playing it.
-The game is still early in production. Keep requesting features and giving feedback, because the game can and will change!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Street Fighter X Tekken Gameplay footage from E3

Here's some gameplay footage of SFXT from E3, I like the slimmed down look of Chun and Sagat and the dramatic camera angles seen thruout the vid. And I may be mistaken but the stage looks an awful like like Retsu's stage from Street Fighter!

Street Fighter III 3S Online Edition Announcement Trailer!

Capcom just released the first trailer for SFIII3SOE! After all these years there is still a strong commumity that prefers SFIII over SFIV, I played SFIII TNG and SI but never played 3S till I bought Capcom Anniversary collection for the PS2. GGPO network and uploading replays direct to your YT channel alone are deal sealers!

Capcom E3 Live Stream: SFIII 3rd Strike Online Edition Interview

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tomb Raider: Turning Point Debut Trailer

Well hello there Lara....been awhile, haven't seen ya since 1998 when you and I went our separate ways. It wasn't you, really, it was, well to be honest you were moving too slow for me. I felt bogged down, and sometimes things just got so frustrating, and sometimes you just got so dam cheap.
But hey look atcha now, you're looking good girl! I know this guy, Nathan Drake...good guy you two have a lot in common, I'll introduce you some time.
I love the name of your boat....Endurance....ain't that the truth!