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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ringtones.

Free Ringtones - Ventones

I was having problems getting ringtones to work on my phone, until I went here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Inception: The Review.

Go see it.

Ok, that is a cop out, but seriously its my favorite film of the year. Yes, it beat Kick-Ass (which comes to DVD next month CHECK IT OUT!).

I don't want to explain the plot to you at all. It does you a disservice and I believe film review should be more about giving a person a reason to be interested in the film, rather than being a smart ass who analyzes the film while calling it a review. Of course I do that quite often, but I know how to break the rules. Usually I do that because a film sucks balls, and I need to explain why. When a film is flippin' amazing I don't need to do that, except to maybe clarify details of the film that may stand in your way for wanting to see it.

The most I'll say is I haven't felt this way since the Matrix, its the most creative film I have seen in years, and it has tons of layers. This is something I'm super interested to analyze, but I wouldn't pass that off as a review.

I will say this, there is a lot going on in this film, and while you can understand all you'll need to enjoy it, like any good art there are layers worth looking at. If someone says they didn't get this, I'm sorry but you are either ADD, dumb, or got up to take a piss. I know some people are like 'I can't even take a piss during this film' but dude, unless you are at home with a pause button, you should not be able to walk out of any film for any length of time and return and have the film be slowing getting to its next point.

If this is you, go ahead and help Michael Bay buy his next private jet, stop commenting on smart films and influencing opinions. Movies aren't supposed to be easy all the time, and this one isn't even going out of its way to be obtuse but people seem to think it is. The main plot is easy to follow, the subtext you have to dig for, and like all great works of art its all up for discussion as to what it means. That is what people don't get, what does it mean? Stop thinking about what the director wants to tell you, and start thinking about what it means to you.

Now visually I think this movie is without equal this year, its amazingly creative, exciting and just blows your mind, not just because crazy shit is happening, but because of why its happening (imagine a action scene, within a action scene, within an action scene) I can't imagine the kind of creativity it took to dream these scenes up, not just the concept but how to do it with out resorting to bad CGI fakery.

Not saying its not CGI all, but the important thing is that it only is when is has to be, and not 'oh how to get a guy to bounce around the room' ' ummm just animate it', I'm sorry but humans shouldn't be CGIed, it almost always looks awful, and if you do, Mo-cap it (like Lord of the Rings) but only as a last resort.

Anyway, final review 5/5, see it in theatres possibly Imax if available (but only if you can get good seats, because if you get to close in Imax movies are unwatchable).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

E3 thoughts.

So this week began with the Electronic Entertainment Expo (aka E3), the huge annual video game conference. Every year is filled with surprises, and first looks at video games for the coming year (and often the following year).

Microsoft's X-box 360 event:

The expo started off on Monday with the Microsoft event. Their main objective was to debut their new controller-less game device, for the 360, called Kinect (formally the Project Natal).

Obviously this is Microsoft's attempt to cash in on some of that Wii audience they have missed out on. It has some unique features, first off is no controller needed (that doesn't mean the 360 is going completely controller free), also face and voice recognition, and video chat to name the main features.

It completely identifies your body, and locks on to you. Allowing different movements of yours, trigger different things. The most obvious use of this was in Kinect Adventures, as you move and jump to control your avatar to grab coins. It appears that the avatars were moving very close to how the players on stage were moving, so as far as I can tell the device is solid in how it does what it promises.

However my concern comes from the over all Wii-ness of the games. Instead of augmenting our current game experience as I hoped, Kinect seems to be going for the cheap feeling mini-game approach the Wii has mastered (master as in selling tons of cheap crap). Even the Star Wars game felt like it was made not for the average gamer, but for the average family member. Not a lot of depth, impressive to someone who DOESN'T play a lot of video games. Which is the #1 criticism of the Wii.

I think I might really enjoy the new way to access the x-box live dashboard, reaching out and touching the various windows. I'm iffy on the voice recognition however, mainly because #1 it could have been faked, and #2 while I know I have to pre-face my commands with "X-BOX" then the command, I still forsee problems, possibly rewinding to far, or worse when I don't want it to, etc. However its not fair for me to lay that on it yet, as it appeared to work perfectly on stage.

The other Kinect game shown was some utterly forgetable racer. Honestly, I don't understand how they expect us to race with this device, when we aren't holding anything to control our speed. They never really addressed that, I don't think (then again my stream of the event often skipped around, and I missed moments, so maybe it did).

The software shown for Microsoft was awfully underwhelming. There were great 3rd party titles announced elsewhere, but at the Microsoft event it was all Kinect.

At the end of the show they unveiled the new 360 unit, most call it the 360 slim (although Microsoft just says the New X-box 360). Its vastly improved, with built-in wi-fi (FINALLY!) and its whisper quiet (that always makes me think of Dr Nick Rivara). They say its Kinect ready, which baffles me, does that mean my 360 I currently own ISN'T!? Or does that mean I won't have to install the update? If its the latter I'm sure they will update the software come November.

Overall my score for Microsoft is a 3 our 5. They got their message across and the hardware seemed to work perfectly, but I was underwhelmed by the software lineup.


Nintendo Wii:

Heads up. I don't own a Wii. I have not desire to own a Wii. I've played games on the Wii and have been un-impressed every single time. I find the controls akward to use. The 3rd party support is horrible. The hardware is basically a gamecube with motion controls.

Honestly I think the system, outside of the 1st party Mario/Zelda/Metroid titles, to be frankly a joke. If I owned the system I would be angry, as it seems like 2 maybe 3 interesting games come out a year. Unless that year was 2009, then it was 1.

Having said that, I own a DS and I like it very much. So that balances it out. I love Mario, I love Zelda, I love Metroid, and all the classics. I just can't play the Wii, it makes me nerd rage.

That's my disclaimer. Moving on.

Nintendo started off the show with Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword, or as I like to call it, the Awkward Sword. Epic game creator of Mario and Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, was on hand to demonstrate it, and I'll be damned if he didn't just validate my whole first paragraph. Even he couldn't control the damn thing. Arrows he was trying to aim straight made a sharp drop to the ground. He was trying to swing his sword in exactly the most precise way to kill an enemy (it had to slice exactly vertical or horizontal depending on the enemy) and it took several attempts, and he also tried to navigated this remote control flying beetle which crashed into everything but what he wanted it too. They blamed it on wireless interference from the crowd, but even if that is true, we later see Sony's new Wii-like wand have zero troubles, neither do any of the systems remote controllers. Its was embarrassing.

The biggest surprise came in the form of Goldeneye for wii. However I wouldn't get too excited. First, I thought the graphics, even for a wii game, we below average. Secondly, wii can't do FPS's well. Another reason why I hate it, its so damn limited. Also Online Multiplayer will be a joke. I seriously rather play Goldeneye on a 360.

Epic Mickey was interesting, but as I'm not a Wii owner I don't care that much.

The 3DS was a solid piece of hardware, as far as I could tell (watching online its impossible to see the 3D image). However it boasts a better processor (how much they didn't say) and a thumb pad (which was much needed). Also it seems like picking up wireless signals and game updates will be a breeze (knock on wood, Nintendo and online aren't good friends).

Also apparently their was a Donkey Kong Country game, but I never saw it. Blame it on the skippy feed I guess.

Overall I would give the show a 2.5 out of 5. The 3Ds saved it from a total fail.

Sony Playstation:

Sony had the most to show this year, and like Microsoft that included a motion controller of their own, the Playstation Move.

But first they ramble on about 3D. Personally I hate 3D. The tech is overly expensive, they've only got a handful of films with it implemented well, expensive glasses for everyone watching it, ugh, what a nightmare. However, I am going to say that what Sony has in store for it, is very very smart. #1 You don't need a new unit, or as far as I can tell, buy a more expensive game for it. Your unit gets patched (that's what she said) and your ready to go (so long as you have a expensive 3D capable TV that is). That makes me happy, because this 3D fad had me worried that on-top of the TVs we would have to buy a 3D blu-ray player to replace our now outdated 2D one. So while I have no desire to own 3D, I am happy that they did it in such a smart way, and that they seem to be the go to company for it, which can only help grow their user base.

Next up was the Move. Now I'm not gonna be a hypocrite and say I love this thing... yet. As it is basically a wii-mote and nunchuck. The big difference is the Eyetoy camera, which picks up the movements (it seems anyway) much much MUCH more fluidly than the Wii. Watch how they manuver the character in Sorcerer vs how Miaymoto moves Link in Zelda. Its much smoother.

Tiger Woods also looked great, for a golf game. The way the club moved, and how you hold it, looks so much more like real golf than anything I've seen on Wii.

Overall it looks like Move is capable of doing what Wii tries to do, and also seems to have interesting games that gamers will actually play for longer than 5 minutes.

Now onto the software line-up. Holy Shit! First Portal 2. Valve studio head Gabe Newell came out to announce this, and that is a big deal because this dude said years ago that the PS3 was a bitch to program for and vowed not to make games for it (its why we never got Left 4 Dead). Now he comes out, eating crow, and basically admitting he was wrong and that Portal 2 is gonna be the best on PS3. If you don't know, Portal rocked. Portal 2 will rock harder.

Then Little Big Planet 2! Again, HOLY SHIT! The stuff you can do with that game. If you don't know, the first LBP had the BEST user creator system. While it was complicated to use for most of us, it did lead to an amazing online world of user generated content. This is the number 1 reason why PS3 is the most innovative console by the way. LBP 2 surpasses the first in every way. While the first was basically platform games, the new can do tons of various game styles (even Real Time Strategy which if you aren't a nerd, just know that is special). They gave some of the top users of LBP 1 24 hours with the new game to make some stages, never using the system before, and they made some interesting stuff. Its the type of game that is always reinventing itself. Basically its what I LOVE about video games.

If those weren't enough, they ended the show with something I've been waiting forever for. I mean 10 freaken years for. I thought the franchise was dead. TWISTED METAL! SO STOKED! Finally! I've been missing car-combat games since that franchise went away. I'm so happy for it to return, in the online era.

My score for Sony. 4.5 out 5. I only would have wished for a brand new franchise or maybe some details on Last Guardian. But everything they put out, delivered. Hardware that worked (at a great price) and a awesome software line-up to back it up.

Prince of Persia: MOVIE MOO!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Red Dead Redemption review

So I haven't seen any new films this weekend, which hurts the whole movie review thing a little bit. But I did spent a good amount of yesterday playing Red Dead Redemption. I played it for PS3 (I also own a 360 console) but I assume much of what I say here can be attributed to 360.

I won't do too much plot, cause its hard to critique until I'm finished it. Having said that its a basic revenge tale thus far, and in typical GTA fashion you help NPCs with unrelated quests and they advance your quest some how. The only problem I have with this here, is John Marsden (you) is a little too happy to help with every little BS side quest they happen to have. After just playing another 30 hours of Fallout 3 this month, I was looking for the option to intimidate them into helping me rather than run across the desert helping them shill BS cure all elixirs.

My second problem is this. John Marsden is too nice. I mean he isn't all sunshine and puppy dogs, but at the same time he is a very moral man just trying to go straight. And for a role player like me, it makes shooting random people like this were GTA a little difficult to do. Having said that, he is the most likable of the Rockstar protagonists, mainly because of his surprising moral nature and nice guy (for a R* game) personality.

Onto gameplay its very solid. Lots to do outside the missions, poker, optional missions, herd cattle, hunting. Plenty do to. The missions have yet to feel that repetitive, although I see the potential for it too later on. The graphics are stunning, probably the best for a open world game.

I've only briefly tried the online, I went on almost immediately after the western release, and few people were on yet. The free roam mode might suffer from over hype, its basically the game world with 'some' of the in game stuff to do. Don't think you'll be playing the main game here with a little PVP thrown in. Some options are taken out (I really hope multiplayer poker is added at some point, I didn't see it there).

I had a few bugs which were really annoying. If you lose connection with a player during a match (and this could have been my wifi, not blaming the game for dropped connections... yet) it sends you back to free roam. But it prompts you first, the only problem is I'm holding X to running, and this screen comes up and I've already pressed X and for the first 3 times never knew what happened cause I couldn't read it.

The second bug so far, is a game restarting crash when I tried to customize my character. I couldn't press any buttons, and my character was still animated, I could also access the PS3 menu, so it wasn't a system crash but a game bug.

The single player game however has been bug free, and as usual, I expect a multiplayer patch soon.

I'll try to get some more into the multiplayer later this week and do a follow up.

For now my score for the single player is 4.5 out of 5. I don't regret buying it.

I'll give my score for multiplayer later. What did work was fun I should note, and if I have a more bug free experience I expect a 4 at least.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kick Ass review

I guess this movie wasn't the kinda sure thing I thought it was. I was fired up for this movie pretty quick, but nobody else was. I guess my comic book nerdiness is to blame there. I really wish this one did better, because so far, this is my number one film of 2010 (as of May).

I would hope that would sell some people, but I'm not quite Ebert... yet.

After asking around it seems some people just don't get it. Even with the title, some people thought it would nearly as ass kicking as it actually is. I guess not everybody see the redband trailers (those being the internet only trailers, where instead of the green screen that says 'this trailer has been approved for all audiences' you get a red screen that says 'this trailer plays by its own rules' - I'm paraphrasing a bit).

Kick Ass is about a teenage kid, Dave, who is a bit of comic book nerd. He's a bit of loser, gets pushed around a lot, is invisible to women (until a rumor spreads that he is gay, which still doesn't help), and just isn't even very special in his group of equally nerdy friends. One day he wonders, why hasn't anyone at least tried to be a superhero. Even without powers, just kicking ass in a suit? So he tries it out, and gets his ass kicked really really badly. The end.

Until, he tries again, and gets his ass kicked, but does so very heroically, gets recorded and put on youtube. As a result his alter ego is the talk of the town, and he pisses off the wrong people. I won't say much more about the plot, but while it isn't the most original, it definitely gives you characters you care about, and puts them in situations where anything can happen.

Two of those characters, besides Dave/Kick-Ass, is Big Daddy and Hit Girl, the father daughter vigilante team. I've seen some violent stuff on screen before, and while I can probably say I've seen more violent, I can't say its much more violent, and I can't say I've seen a 12 year old girl doing it. This girl kicks ass, not just in action but she is a great actress. Kinda funny how the most bad ass character in this film, is her. Nick Cage plays her dad, a guy with a grudge against the mob, and its easily Cage's best performances since, I guess ever. Yeah I'll say it, this is Nicolas Cage at his best. When he is in the suit, he does this awesome Batman style voice change... except it isn't growly Christian Bale Batman, its hilarious Adam West style Batman. You'll miss a couple lines of dialogue after he speaks cause you'll be laughing over it.

The only reason I can't recommend this movie, is if you think children killing people, and swearing like sailors, and other acts of hard R rated stuff is unwatchable. Having said that, if you can stomach it (and it has a playful mood about it, not a dark twisted one, think Kill Bill) then I think you'll love this movie.

Five Stars out of Five

I'm buying this the day it comes out. On Blu Ray.