Thursday, July 9, 2009

Game Review: Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5 has an amazing story. Really epic. So for that alone, at least rent the game.

But the best part of the game is the co-op, yelling "HOLY CRAP!" and coordinating with your teammate is a ton of fun. The graphics and locales are well done.

But here's the problems. The single player is ass. It's just not fun playing by yourself. The second problem is the controls are kind of sluggish. I tried replaying a couple time but it was just a struggle. So I ended up reselling it too.

Programming: 5/10 : Controls felt kind of sluggish. Single player teammate AI is horrid!
Graphics: 9/10 : Graphics are really great
Story: 10/10 : Story is thrilling
Atmosphere: 10/10 : The various African locales are really well done
Multiplayer: 7/10 : The co-operative is really fun
Overall: 7/10 : There's an exceptional game here, I think it just gets bogged down a bit.

P.S. I love the main character because his name is Chris, memo to developers: NAME YOUR CHARACTERS CHRIS!

Game Review: Halo Wars

Halo Wars is an RTS based in the Halo universe. The plot is nothing special, Covenant take a thing, try to blow up the world... yadda yadda. In the end it doesn't have an impact on the Halo universe we know and love.
The problem I have with the game is that the pace seems kind of slow. Also a thing that bothered me was that you could on build a couple buildings and defences. And they can only go in specific places around the main construction base. I like the Red Alert scheme where you could build building anywhere around a building you own. It let you be creative with your bases. But they did it for easier controls.
In the end there's nothing wrong with the game. It has some interesting scenarios. However when I finished and looked at the achievements, I thought "ugh". And I knew right then, if playing through levels was feeling like a hassle, I was done. I traded it in for money.
Programming: 9/10 : Very well made game, controls really well too.
Graphics: 7.5/10 : The graphics are pretty good for a RTS
Story: 5/10 : The story kind of weak because of the low impact on the Halo universe.
Atmosphere: 9/10 : The Halo units are done really well
Multiplayer: NA/10 : Didn't really play multiplayer
Overall: 7/10 : Like I said I didn't hold onto the game.

Movie Review: Public Enemies

Public Enemies stars Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands) as John Dillinger, a bank robber. The movie starts off with John breaking his friends out of prison. Marion Cotillard (La Vie en rose) plays Billie Frechette, John's wife.

While John robs banks, Christian Bale (Dark Knight) plays the man whose hunting him down, Melvin Purvis. With Billy Crudup (Watchmen) playing J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI.

The movie follows John as he goes through his life. There is a couple really good action scenes. The camera work is superb. A problem with the movie is that there's no one to really latch on too. Both sides have their faults. The 30s feel is amazingly done.

Acting: 9/10
Story: 8/10
Atmosphere: 10/10
Overall: 9/10
Rated 14A (ONT) R (USA) I liked it

P.S. There was a scene with a singer and I thought I recognized her. I nailed it. (Cameo was Diana Krall)

Movie Review: Defiance

Defiance stars Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) as Tuvia Bielski who along with his brothers Zus Bielski (played by Liev Schreiber, The Manchurian Candidate), Aron Bielski (George Mackay, and Asael Bielski (played by Jamie Bell, King Kong) are hiding from Nazi German oppression in the forests of Poland.

Soon their story spread and they are joined by many other Jewish people. The movie follows the struggles of their camp and the differences between the brothers.

Overall it's an entertaining movie.

Acting: 7.5/10
Story: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Overall: 8/10
Rated 14A (ONT) R (USA) I liked it more than Pyjamas

Movie Review: The Day the Earth Stood Still

Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) stars as Klaatu an alien representative. Co-Starring is Jennifer Connelly as microbiologist Helen Benson. Kathy Bates (Revolutionary Road) plays the Secretary of State, who's a constant pain. Jaden Smith (Pursuit of Happyness) plays Jacob Benson, Helen's step-son. John Cleese (Monty Python) plays a professor and friend of Helen.

Helen eventually finds out Klaatu's here because they are going to destroy the Earth, or rather, protect the Earth by destroying us. Yeah it's sort of environmentalist propaganda but let's keep going. So the majority of the movie is Helen trying to convince Klaatu not to end humanity.

While this is happening the American Army (led by Robert Knepper of Prison Break) is doing various attacks on the ship/sphere and Gort, a giant robot.

The movie is interesting but doesn't have the pizaz of Independence Day or Day After Tomorrow and the story is too shallow. So it fails as a disaster movie and an action drama.

Acting: 7/10
Story: 6.5/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Overall: 6.5/10
Rated PG (ONT) PG-13 (USA) Okay movie

Movie Review: Frost/Nixon

Frank Langella (Goodnight, and Goodluck) plays a post Presidential office Richard Nixon. Looking to rebuild his political career (and a little bit of money) he agrees to an interview with journalist David Frost (played by Michael Sheen, The Queen). Frost is trying to rebuild his career and is taking a huge risk by spending a ton of money for the interview.

The supporting cast includes a rock solid Kevin Bacon as Nixon's advisor Jack Brennan. Sam Rockwell (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) as James Reston, Jr. who along with Bob Zelnick (Oliver Platt, Year One) and John Birt (Matthew Macfadyen, Pride & Prejudice) study up on the former President for Frost.

The dialogue is well done and humourous at times and is actually quite tense at moments (which is surprising for an interview)

Great camera work, acting and writing make this movie amazing.

Acting: 9.5/10
Story: 8.5/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Overall: 9/10
Rated: PG (ONT) R (USA) Overall really well done

Movie Review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Newcomer Asa Butterfield stars as the young Bruno, son of an SS Officer (palyed by David Thewlis, Harry Potter) who is stationed at a Nazi concentration camp. Bruno's family includes his mother (Vera Farmiga, Nothing But The Truth) and his sister Grettel (played by Amber Beattie who's also in her first major role).
From his window Bruno notices a "farm" with people wearing "striped pyjamas". There he meets a boy named Shmuel (played by Jack Scanlon who again is new) and they become friends. Another key character is Lt. Kotler, a young SS officer played by Rupert Friend (The Libertine).

The movie has an interesting story, and is well done.

Acting: 7/10
Story: 7.5/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10
Rated 14-A (ONT)* PG-13 (USA) Overall a good movie

P.S. Spoilers: I was left wondering if the father really did get the point? That what they were doing was evil? Or was he just sad because his son died?

*I couldn't find this so that is my best guess, though it could be PG

Movie Review: Year One

Year One stars Jack Black as Zed and Michael Cera, his sidekick, as Oh. They start off as small time hunterer/gatherers at a tribe and dream of going over the mountains, which Oh believes is the end of the world. After eating the forbidden fruit and being banished they are exiled from the tribe and begin their journey.

David Cross (Kung Fu Panda) plays Cain (of the famous Cain and Abel brothers). Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad) plays Issac and Hank Azaria (Godzilla) plays Abraham, his father. Juno Temple (Atonement) and June Raphael (Bride Wars) play Eema and Maya, Oh and Zeds love interests from the tribe. Oliver Wilde (House M.D.) plays the Princess of Sodom and there are several other small parts and cameos throughout the movie.

The one who steals the show is Cera with his Eore like attitude, which make every line he says pretty funny. I'll admit the movie is far from perfect. There's a couple of gross moments. But overall I thought it was pretty good.

Acting: 7.5/10
Story: 7.5/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10
Rated: 14-A (ONT) PG-13 (USA) If you like Jack Black or Michael Cera you'll probably like this movie

Movie Review: The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 revolves around Ryder (like train rider) played by John Travolta (Hairspray, Wildhogs) who takes over a train, full of hostages, and demands a ransom. The man he talks to over the radio is Walter Garber, a man who's worked on the subway system for years, played by Denzel Washington (Deja Vu, American Gangster).

Ryder's motive is unclear, but what is clear is that he has a beef with the Mayor of New York City (played by James Gandolfini, the Sopranos) and the "man" in general. The main problem with the movie is that there's only a few "tense" moments. And even they seem contrived, and some don't even involve the characters in the movie. The movie doesn't really go anywhere until the end as well.

The second big problem is that this has already been done. And done better. The Italian Job, Phone Booth, Die Hard and many others have tread these grounds before. Heck, Inside Man was released in 2006, so even Denzel has been here before. Denzel and John both do well but there isn't much to work with.

Acting: 7/10
Story: 4/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Overall: 5.5/10
Rated: 14-A (ONT) R (USA) Exciting at parts but not enough

P.S. A lot of the "twists" could be seen from miles away

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Movie Review: Terminator Salvation

The movie stars Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) as John Connor, leader of the resistance against the robot overlords (i.e. Skynet). Sam Worthington (The Great Raid) plays Marcus Wright, a man who was on deathrow in the past but doesn't remember anything now.

He finds a young Kyle Reece (played by Anton Yelchin) and they, along with Star (played by Jadagrace). Michael Ironside seems wasted as a leader of the resistance. Moon Bloodgood plays a pilot who also plays a key part in the story. The rest of the characters play minor parts.

Overall the movie had some great cinematics. The gas station scene was epic in my opinion. Also if your going to compare to the previous movies, keep in mind that this one had to play a different tune and couldn't just go with the "single terminator going after Connor" theme.

Acting: 7/10
Story: 7.5/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Overall: 8/10
Rated 14A (ONT) PG-13 (USA) I thought it was definitely worth seeing

P.S. I thought I saw a seen where there were people watching them go to the death areas. If true, what could it mean?

Movie Review: Bottle Shock

Bottle Shock is a movie about the taste testing contest between French and Californian wines in 1976. The movie stars Chris Pine (Star Trek) as Bo Barrett the son of Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman, Independence Day) who is following his dream of owning a successful winery. Rachel Taylor plays Sam (fitting perfectly as a California girl) an intern at the winery. Freddy Rodríguez play a young man who has a passion for wine and is friends with Bo. Eliza Dushku plays a small part as a local bartender.

Finally the one who steals the show is Alan Rickman (Harry Potter) as an English "wine snob" trying to run a wine store in France. He comes up with the idea to do the blind taste contest and begins searching California for the best wines. Every scene he's in is excellent

However most of the movie revolves around the troubles of the Barrett winery and the relationship between Bo and his father. There's also a small love story but it seems kind of uneccessary.

Overall the movie is great.

Acting: 8/10
Story: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Overall: 8/10
Rated 14A (ONT) PG-13 (USA) Very interesting movie

P.S. Alan Rickman is also in one of my favourite movies Galaxy Quest

Movie Review: Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road starts off with the Wheelers, Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic) and April (Kate Winslet, Titanic also), having a fight, and you immediately know that the gloves are off for this movie. The movie for the most part revolves around them. The other standout performer was Kathy Bates. The rest play more minor roles but do well none the less.

April has dreams of going places, not staying in your standard 50s suburban neighbourhood. Frank, also had these dreams but that part of seems has given in to the pessimism of working at his job (the same company that his father did too).

Both Leo and Kate do exceptional here. Director Sam Mendes (Jarhead, Road to Peredition) does a great job with the camera. The fifties clothing and settings were also done very well.

Acting: 9/10
Story: 7/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Overall: 8/10
Rated: 14-A (ONT) R (USA) Well done movie

P.S. Didn't realize this was based off a book

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Movie Review: Crossing Over

Crossing Over is several stories about immigrants in the United States. The first is Harrison Ford as Max Brogan, a immigration officer who tries to get an illegal immigrant her young boy back.

The second is Claire Shepard (played by Alice Eve) an Australian actress who wants to make it big in the U.S. and meets Cole Frankel (played by Ray Liotta) an immigration official.

Another story is Gavin Kossef (played by Jim Sturgess, Across The Universe) a friend of Claire, also seeking citizenship, and is using his Jewish faith to get in.

Taslima Jahangir (played by Summer Bishil) is a member of a family who is partly illegal and ends up being arrested for a school report she did. She is taken care of by Denise Frankel (Ashley Judd, Double Jeopardy) who is an immigration lawyer and takes care of another immigrant child.

Finally Cliff Curtis plays Hamid Baraheri who is involved with a death in a family. And the last story is an Asian family, who's eldest son is getting involved with gangs, only weeks before he's to become a citizen.

Overall they're all kind of enjoyable, but it doesn't really stand out on it's own.

Acting: 8/10
Story: 7.5/10
Atmosphere: 7.5/10
Overall: 7.5/10
Rated: 14-A (ONT) R (USA) Good stories

P.S. I was annoyed with the opening speech by Taslima. Also I didn't realize that Austrailia was such a hell hole.

Movie Review: Fanboys

Eric Bottler (played by Sam Huntington, Superman Returns) reunites with his old high school buddies Linus (Christopher Marquette, The Girl Next Door), Hutch (Dan Fogler, Balls Of Fury) and Windows (Canadian Jay Baruchel, Tropic Thunder) and refire their dream to go to Skywalker Ranch and see the Phantom Menace before anyone else.
Zoe (Kristen Bell, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is a co-worker and friend of Hutch. The gang heads west in their van and get involved with a ton of hijinks.

I loved the movie for it's various cameos, Star Wars related humour and humour. I definitely reccomend seeing it.

Acting: 8/10
Story: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Overall: 8/10
Rated: 14-A (ONT) PG-13 (USA) Hilarious movie

Movie Review: Nothing But The Truth

Allison (played by Kate Beckinsale, Click) is a journalist on the verge of releasing a huge news story: the wife of a government official is a CIA agent. backed by her editor (Angela Bassett, ER). She goes ahead with the story, knowing it will cause controversy. Immediately the government wants the source from her, getting a special prosecutor for the matter (played by Matt Dillon, Crash). Things go downhill from there.

Noah Wyle (ER) plays the lawyer defending her for the newspaper. While Alan Alda (Aviator) plays a lawyer defending her and does a really great job. I thought Kate did a really good job too. David Schwimmer (Friends) plays her Allison's husband and one of the stand outs was Vera Farmiga who plays the ousted CIA agent.

Nothing but the Truth suffered the same problem that Stop Loss had I felt. The movie is good but it doesn't really provide answers.

Acting: 8/10
Story: 6/10
Atmosphere: 7.5/10
Overall: 7.5/10
Rated: 14-A (ONT) R (USA) Overall an okay movie

Movie Review: Adventureland

Adventureland is a good mix of teen comedy and drama. Set in 1987 James Brennan (played by Jesse Eisenberg) is just leaving high school, looking forward to college. But his parents are short on money, so he picks up a job at the local theme park. There he meets a unique cast of characters including Bobby the manager (played by Bill Hader, Superbad), co-worker Joel (Martin Starr, also in Superbad) and Mike Conell (a shady guy played by Ryan Reynolds, Waiting...).
But James sets his eyes on Emily Lewin (played by Kristen Stewart, Twilight) and they begin a relationship.
The acting is fine, mostly because of a good supporting cast. I think Kristen did well for one of her first movies and Jesse also did well for one of his first big movies as well. The story moved at a good pace and it wasn't raunchy like most teen comedies are. A little moreso than Juno.
Acting: 7/10
Story: 7/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10
Rated 14A (ONT) R (USA) I liked it
P.S. Why do I always mix Ryan Reynolds with Dane Cook?

Major Update

That's it! I'm batting down the hatches. I'm going to review all the movies I've been to lazy to up until now. Including:
Nothing But The Truth
Crossing Over
Revoultionary Road
Bottle Shock
Terminator Salvation
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Year One
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Day The Earth Stood Still
Public Enemies

As well as video game reviews of Resident Evil 5 and Halo Wars.