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Finch and Weston May 29, 2009

Posted by huymix in Random.
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Emery C.I.fminusWeston and Finch Map

I used to live in the Finch-Weston area for about 10 years, but really I’ve been connected to the area for much longer than 10 years. Since I’ve finished high school, I have had very little reason to come back to the neighbourhood. If you ever think about visiting this part of Toronto, unless you’re there for a specific family thing or something, I’d recommend you spend your time elsewhere because:

  • If you need a bus, it’s possibly one of the worst lines in the TTC. From this area, there are 2 ways to get to and from Finch and Weston. On Finch, that bus will take you pretty far to the Yonge line, most of the time you don’t need to go all the way to the Yonge line. The Weston option is no better because a) there are sometimes over an hour wait for a bus b) it takes the least direct route possible to get to Wilson Station. If you gotta go, try to drive or get a lift.
  • I think in Canada we’re pretty safe. However, Finch and Weston is not very far from the infamous Jane and Finch area. Now Jane and Finch’s reputation as being dangerous is a bit overblown but not unfounded. Finch and Weston doesn’t have the name baggage, but is close enough to have the same problems. I’m not gonna wear a bullet proof vest, but I’m also not going to carry credit cards or a lot of cash on me if I visit.
  • It’s a boring neighbourhood. There used to be a mall which is now this horrible blighted lot. If you’re not visiting someone there is really nothing in this area for you.

Finch and Weston is a combination of suburban boredom and inner city danger, insofar as the City of Toronto can really be considered dangerous. I don’t totally hate the place, but given the ability to go elsewhere I’ve almost always chosen to go somewhere else. The biggest knock against Finch and Weston is that it offers no reason to go/live there so why bother yourself.

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Punch Out!! (Wii) May 28, 2009

Posted by huymix in Games.
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Punch Out WiifminusPunch Out Wii Logo

This review will seem very confusing. I got a chance to play the new Punch-Out!! this past weekend at a friend’s place and it was awesome. Incredibly fun, vivid, and was overall a great experience. Punch-Out!! is an F- because:

  • It’s a terrible value. This is perhaps the single greatest determinant of the review. I’m sorry but for $60 and only 13 fighters + 1 secret fighter is really too much for me. I’ve always said that I only have a Plus/Minus system because the choice to do or buy something is really binary anyways. I can’t recommend paying retail.
  • Nintendo games tend to not go on sale ever. It’s very unlikely it will drop in price to a more reasonable level. Excite Truck seemed to keep it’s full price for years after its release! Freaking Excite Truck (even on E-bay it’s still like $40).
  • If you want Punch-Out on Wii, I recommend the Virtual Console downloads of both the original and Super Punch-Out. It’s a much cheaper option and offers a much greater variety of fighters.

I really had an awesome time playing Punch-Out!! I can’t say enough great things about it.  All I can really say is that if price were no issue Punch-Out!! (Wii) would be an F+ hands down.

Tyson – Documentary May 27, 2009

Posted by huymix in Movies.
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Tyson fightfplusTyson Documentary

I heard really great things about this documentary when it debuted. I had only gotten around to watching it now. While I don’t think it’s a great documentary, I think it does exactly what it needed to do. If you get a chance to watch “Tyson” I would recommend you watch it because:

  • It destroys a lot of the baggage and myth about Tyson that’s built up over his career. It’s about as honest as you’re going to find without being dry about it.
  • The real life story of Tyson is way more interesting than a lot of the fictional movie stories out there.
  • Minimizes any “acting”. The whole documentary really is an interview with Tyson with snippets from the past edited in. I suppose it can be argued that its one-sided and unfair, but I’m tuning in to hear what Tyson has to say about it, and this documentary gives me the maximum amount possible.

In a sad twist I coincidentally watched “Tyson” the same night his daughter Exodus died. It made everything he said seem even more tragic. If you think you know Mike Tyson and haven’t watched “Tyson” than you really don’t know him.

Note: After watching Tyson I feel like I can understand where he’s coming from even though I don’t come from the same perspective at all. For a man who’s motivation has always seemed shrouded in mystery, “Tyson” was very effective at lifting that shroud of mystery.

Leggings (Women) May 26, 2009

Posted by huymix in Fashion.
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LeggingsfminusAmerican Apparel LogoI have to clarify this post to refer specifically to when leggings are worn as a replacement for some other pants or jeans or skirt. Here’s why:

  • Most people who wear leggings as pants are not and never will be ballet dancers. If you’re wearing leggings you are only dressing like a ballet dancer, except in reality looking much sillier.
  • Legging on their own are not flattering to those without the most sculpted legs. Most people aren’t exactly gonna like every bulge legging reveals.
  • It’s a half a step closer to the vision of the future 1 piece unitard. Nobody wants that shit, ditch the leggings so we can avoid that horrible, inevitable future.

Despite my last point being fairly silly, I still think the first 2 reasons are more than enough to take a pass on wearing leggings as a replacement for pants. Like I said, leggings are fine under a skirt just not alone. Just think of how silly you think people in the 80’s looked. That’s what people in the 2030’s will say about you if you wear leggings and they will be absolutely right.

Note: I put the American Apparel logo up for this post only because I strongly associate legging with that company. H&M also have a bunch of varieties available but for some reason American Apparel seems more appropriate.

The Score May 22, 2009

Posted by huymix in Television.
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theScore

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In Toronto, there are 3 main television outlets for sports. TSN (in my books) is #1 followed by Sportsnet and then theScore. This 3 station system was not great, but was at least workable. With the addition of TSN2, theScore has dropped from marginally F + territory into full blown F – territory, because:

  • Where the hell is the sports coverage? I swear, of all the networks, they show the most non-sport programming (especially poker) of them all. If you can’t give me live sports, give me some other useful angle on sports that the other networks can’t cover. At the very least, the programming should be sports-related.
  • Too many highlight shows. Even with the minimal sports coverage, theScore barely covers actual sports. Now you might argue that Sportsnet covers less but in my mind it at least seems like theScore has less actual live sports.
  • I don’t really like their on air personalities. Everyone is just alright. I don’t find them particularly funny or more insightful. Cabbie is the exception but he’s just not enough.

I do give respect for covering more soccer than the other networks. But in a country that cares less about soccer than they do pretty much every other major sport, it doesn’t mean a lot. I’m glad theScore is around, but really I could go without and not skip a beat.

Terminator: Salvation May 22, 2009

Posted by crarence in Movies.
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fplusterminator-salvationterminator-salvation-20093

Summer 2009 has already seen a couple of great action flicks, with more scheduled to come. I can confidently say that Terminator: Salvation, will be remembered as a success. Why you should go see it:

  • The film revitalizes the franchise by breaking away from the tired premise of the first three films. Yay for a fresh plot!
  • Great acting on the part of Sam Worthington and Anton Yelchin. The latter in particular plays the role of a young Kyle Reese perfectly, you’d almost swear that they just de-aged Michael Biehn somehow.
  • Lots of cool action and smooth CGI. All the effects were very realistic, conveying the feel of a post-apocalyptic world with pseudo-advanced technology perfectly.

If you were a fan of the Terminator series, but felt disappointed and disenchanted by the third film, you’ve got to check this one out.

Star Trek: Crarence’s Review May 20, 2009

Posted by crarence in Celebrity, Movies, Shows.
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star-trek-movie-dockstpreqcomiclogo

Just came back from watching Star Trek, and I had a great time. Even if you aren’t a Star Trek fan, I predict you’d have alot of fun watching it as well. The visuals are great with the right mix of clean and gritty, and they pay respect to the original series without looking silly.

  • All the characters were done really well and get a fair amount of screen time. I’m particularly impressed by Zoe Saldana, as she really brought Uhura to life.
  • There are a lot of inside jokes and homages for Star Trek fans (Kobayashi Maru, red shirts on away missions, wriggly brain worms, exotic green women, and lots of catch phrases.)
  • Rather than simply being a prequel, the movie goes far beyond this scope by…well, I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Suffice to say, I’m on the edge of my seat for the sequels.

If you haven’t seen it yet, do not wait and get out there now to check it out. In a summer of blockbusters, this one is going to stand out.

Metacritic.com May 20, 2009

Posted by huymix in Random.
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Metacritic screenshot

fplusMetacritic

I know that The Snuh Zone is the place on the interwebs for reviews but one of the more popular sites for reviews actually does not review anything. If you don’t know, Metacritic pretty much aggregates reviews and links, where possible, to the actual written review. Although I particularly care about the score that is aggregated at Metacritic, I’d say to check it out because:

  • It makes a variety of reviews easily accessible. So if I want a variety of opinions on say a movie, after The Snuh Zone review, I can go to Metacritic to find as many other reviews as I could possibly want.
  • Metacritic does not just cover movies. It does a pretty good job of covering a broad range of media. The glaring missing piece is really product review (devices) other than that I can generally find the review I want from Metacritic.
  • The last thing I like about Metacritic has less to do with the site than what happens as a result of Metacritic. 2 words: Flame Wars. I actually think it’s pretty hilarious when Fanboy X says “Uh haha, look at Y’s score all fans of Y r gayz” of course followed up by more hilarious back and forth. As a bystander, it’s like watching a really dumb tennis match where both sides lose.

The site is really just an organizing portal for information. Next time you’re debating if you should see this movie or buy that game, give Metacritic.com a quick post-Snuh Zone browse and see what the reviews have been saying. At the very worst, you’ll just disagree with some Internet nobodies and you’ll have spent all of 5 minutes figuring that out.

Star Trek (Movie) May 19, 2009

Posted by huymix in Movies.
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Star Trek EnterprisefplusStar Trek Movie LogoHaving just watched this movie, the reasons for why I like it are still fresh in my memory. Just so you know, if I had to scale my Star Trek nerdiness between 1 (not at all a fan) and 10 (hyper-fan (i.e. Brent Spiner stalker level)) I would have to say I’m about a 7. I watched mostly Next Generation and Voyager and the newer movies. However, I’ve never watched the older movies and only some of the original show. Knowing all that, Star Trek deserves an F+ because:

  • The action that is there is pretty satisfying to watch. The action is not crazy overcomplicated (unlike Transformers, which should be its own post) and is something very different than normal.
  • Its pretty funny. For those that can recognize some of the main sayings of the original cast, the movie will be even funnier. Karl Urban and Simon Pegg are awesome.
  • It brought Star Trek back to the mainstream. Honestly the last Star Trek movie was probably an F- and the last show Star Trek Enterprise I watched 1 episode and was completely apathetic towards. To completely revive the Star Trek name is a pretty big feat. Good work Mr. Abrams, good work.

All in all, Star Trek is a pretty great summer-ish popcorn action flick. It’s not going to win any Academy Awards but who cares. I watched in IMAX and while I don’t know if the experience was significantly better I can say I had a very good time watching it that way. Also, I don’t think this movie should just be for the guys out there, so ladies give this movie a shot, it only looks nerdy. Please forgive my live-out-loud nerd moment: Live long and prosper!

The Ultimate Fighter May 14, 2009

Posted by crarence in MMA, Shows, Sports.
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I remember a Saturday, years ago, when I was just enjoying a lazy afternoon. I was flipping through the channels when I stumbled across Spike TV as they were running The Ultimate Fighter3 marathon. After one episode, I was hooked, and I have enjoyed that TV series (and most things UFC) immensely over the years.

The basic idea behind the show is you have a group of aspiring mixed martial artists who are put into a house. They are separated into teams and coached by famous fighters. Each week, you get to see them train and face off against each other in elimination matches. At the end of the series, there is a sole winner (per weight category) who earns himself a 6 figure contract with the UFC. I like the show a lot because:

  • Unlike Wrestling, which I watched growing up, there is no script in the UFC. Everything is real – the fighting, the techniques, the rivalries, the emotions – it’s all genuine.
  • If you’re a fan of the UFC, it’s really cool to see how the famous coaches act outside of the octagon. Many of them act in a very different way than you might expect. For example, Tito Ortiz seems like a loud mouth braggart, but he may just be the best coach to date in the entire series. BJ Penn radiates confidence when he fights, but he made for a horrible leader on the show.
  • MMA is simply exciting to watch. There is a real science to the sport and it’s crazy when the underdog wins through superior technique or simply having a larger set of tools to beat a larger, more aggressive opponent.

MMA has really blown up over the years, and no small part of it is due to The Ultimate Fighter. If you want to see the next generation of champions get their shot at glory, you can buy the DVDs or follow the latest series Wednesday nights at 10:00PM on Spike.