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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen June 28, 2009

Posted by crarence in Movies.
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The summer of action blockbusters rolls on! How does the highly anticipated sequel fare in my eyes? Well, let me premise my review by saying I was an 80’s kid who grew up watching the show and collecting the toys, and I absolutely loved the first film. I saw it a whopping 4 times in the theatres, plus half a dozen times on DVD. When the trailer came out, I was glued to youtube.

I have mixed feelings after watching the movie. From an action stand point, the film definitely delivered. It also filled in little gaps left from the first film like the tense relationship between Megatron and Starscream, and Optimus kicking some serious ass. There was lots of eye candy, both in women and cars. Ultimately, I still have to give it a F- because

  • The movie was too god damn long. They could have cut an hour out of the film, easily. Too many side stories – government in-fighting, drawn -out humour with the parents, comic-relief with the roommate and that sector 7 guy – the movie is about giant fighting robots, dammit!
  • I was really uncomfortable with the caricature of the  twins. I mean, you already killed the token black robot in the first film…did you really have to push the envelope so far in the second?
  • Lots of fighting robots…little character development in most of them . They introduced so many new robots in this film with lots of interesting potential, yet do nothing with them. Can we find out more about Arcee (the female bike trio,) or Sideswipe (the bad-ass sword wielding robot,) or some of the cool looking villains? Looking at the cast…apparently there was an autobot named Jolt…really? What did he do? I just saw the film an hour ago and I can’t remember.

The film’s going to do well regardless, based on the strength of the first film. But I highly doubt it will do as well, since even fanbois like me are unwilling to watch it more than once in the theatre. Michael Bay seemed to have learned from the first one and made  a lot of improvement, but there is room for more. As a tip – stick with doing more with the robots! That’s what I came to see! Don’t add more humans! The parents are fine…in small doses. Same with John Tuturro. Keep their roles minimal. Get this right, and the third film will exceed both.

The Ultimate Fighter (US vs UK) episode 10 June 4, 2009

Posted by crarence in MMA, Shows, Sports, Television.
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Last night was a particularly good episode of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF.) If you didn’t catch it, here are some of the highlights:

  • Really, what was Pierce thinking? The man knows that he’s on a reality TV show, surrounded by cameras watching and recording his every move and conversation. Why lie about his dealings withthe UK team when he can’t escape getting caught?
  • The first round between DaMarques and Nick was one of the best fights in any TUF season. DaMarques was leading for the first four and half minutes until Nick unleashed a salvo of punches at the end that left DaMarques reeling. I thought Nick could have finished the fight there, but DaMarques refused to give in. Good stuff.
  • It’s hard not to like DaMarques as the episodes roll on. The man has  a good blend of eloquence and smack talk. He’s a bit of a showboat, which I’m sure would annoy me if I was on the show with him. However, he’s also the top dog on that show and can back up anything he says. With Nick out, I can’t see Frank or James posing any real threat to him.

I wonder if there will be more spin-offs like this should ratings show that this season was successful – US vs Brasil? US vs Canada? East Coast vs West Coast? In the meantime, I’m going to hang on as the season nears the finish.

Civilization Revolution June 4, 2009

Posted by huymix in Videogames.
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I initially bought the PS3 version of Civilization Revolution last summer. I played this game all the damn time when I got it. Fall came and I got buried under a bunch of awesome games (Fallout 3 in particular). Instead of playing my still unfinished Metal Gear Solid 4, I’ve been playing Civilization Revolution on the PS3 again. Even worse, I bought the DS version as well so I can play on the train. It’s the same damn game…yet I can’t get enough. Here’s why:

  • The pace is exactly my speed. I do like RTS games, but there is something to be said for doing something putting the controller down and checking TSN.ca and picking the controller back up to play without pausing. I get to play at the pace I want to play, if I want fast the game will be quick, if I want to go slow that’s fine too.
  • It’s complex just enough. So I hear the criticism “Civ Rev is for babies, and Civ 4 is so much better, yada yada yada”. Thing is, if this game were a touch more complicated, I would be much more put off by it. That’s probably why I’m intimidated by Civ 4 (even though I’m sure it’s excellent).
  • The fight animations reminds me of old school Battle Chess!! But with a much more random element. I love Battle Chess, anything to do with BattleChess gets a bonus from me.

Ultimately, I enjoy Civ Rev so much that even after a year of playing the PS3 version of the game, I still play it now (a lot) and just bought the DS version of it to keep playing. Sid Meier, you have created a monster…

Up June 1, 2009

Posted by huymix in Movies.
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I’m a big Pixar fan. Ever since Toy Story, I’ve been hooked on each movie that’s come from them (with the exception of Cars). Just so you know, I did end up watching it in 3D but I don’t really think it benefits from 3D so I would recommend just watching it normally. The fun/awesome parts have nothing to do with 3D and have everything to do with:

  • The supporting cast is awesome. Not just the kid, but the dog and the bird are great because they have unique and fun personalities and motivations.
  • The use of colour and shapes in the design of pretty much everything gives everything an unstated personality. For example, if you just looked at the chairs you can tell, just from the chair, the personality of the person who sits in it.
  • The story is fun and fantastical but has some pretty sad stuff. I definitely think a story needs bitter to appreciate the sweet. Up’s story executes this balance well because it that balance feels natural. Some movie’s try to have achieve this balance and it comes off feeling artificial.

Anyways, I can almost always recommend Pixar movies. Also, it’s a great movie to go with kids/dates/your parents (if you still do that).