A short while back I got fed up with having like 7 BitTornado windows open at once, and finally got around to installing this program called Azureus. Good stuff. Hold on, I’m going somewhere with this. so I’m looking for “test subjects” down at the old torrent dump, and I come across a peculiar anime movie called “Sonic Adventure 2”. I’m like “Hey, that’s a game, not a movie!” And I downloaded it because I like and own the game. Impressions are as follows.

It was indeed an anime movie based on the Sonic Adventure 2 game. I was shocked, because I was sure I would have heard of such a thing. Anyhow, it’s surely a movie of the Sonic X anime, which is very, very loosely based on the first Sonic Adventure game. Only, the anime introduces many new characters and of course, takes away a lot of element from the games. So if you’re still following me, the movie’s story is that of the game, but changes just enough to make it fit in with the anime’s plot. And as I can only assume (because I stopped following the Sonic X anime and pretty much anything I was watching when I started working), the movie introduces several plot points and characters, which will carry over into the anime with no explaination, leaving all of us who live outside of Japan to wonder what’s going on. Only I’m on the inside now, because I’ve seen the movie.

With that moderately confusing paragraph behind us, let’s discuss some other stuff about this particular movie, shall we? The thing that I first noticed is that opposite to all toon-to-movies I’ve seen in my time, the animation in Sonic Adventure 2 is inferior to that of Sonic X. In fact the overall quality was somewhat lower than I would expect, leading me to beleive that no-one involved with Sonic X had anything to do with this movie. Of course, I’m not going to research this at all, so if you can tell me different, go right ahead. My E-Mail address is at the bottom of the sidebar. Also noted was that they managed to keep all the main ideas of the game’s story mostly intact. While a bunch of anime-exclusive character story was added and intertwined with the base story, they also did a pretty good job of explaining the main plot, whereas the game left you kinda confused at several points. Of course, it was somewhat connected with the Sonic X story, so if you hadn’t been watching that, you might be left in the dark on several occasions. Lastly, the subtitles were pretty poor. they were there and all, but the translators were clearly not that proficient in English, as the Engrish is piled on throughout.

Other interesting news bits for this update include: Mike has re-arranged his website. Again. It once again has content on it, much to my delight. The last couple incarnations did not, so it makes for a nice change. Steve also writes for this website, and it features a message board much like my own. I would urge you to post at either, but you’re really better off at the Mists of Avalon Online forum. More people, and they actually post every once in a while.

The full version of the Rockman.EXE Stream anime opening theme, Be Somewhere, has been released. Find it from here. While we’re talking of anime themes, you can download the opening and ending themes of the Viewtiful Joe anime at this website. You’ll have to sign up if you want them, but they’re not great, so unless you’re a huge VJ fan like m’self…

And as much as I hate relying on Gorillamask for things to post about (I try to find stuff myself, but I don’t have hundreds of people e-mailing me things they find interesting every day), here’s a nerd test. Take it, see how much of a nerd you are. Apparently, i’m barely a nerd at all. I was slightly surprised, but I guess I’m just more anti-social than nerdy.

Blood is life

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently downloaded and watched the movie “Nosferatu”. But before we begin, I must make a clarification. This version of the film is a newer version. Made in 1979, it is based on the 1922 silent film, which is in itself based on Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. What separates this film from the older one is mainly sound, colour, and character names. I would have liked to watch the 1922 version (as well), but this one was all I could find. Being somewhat interested in monster legends, I figured I would be interested in such a film. Indeed, I was interested, but it really turned out to be a mixed bag.

The main plot of the movie is based around three central characters; Jonathan Harker, his wife Lucy, and Count Dracula. Jonathan is sent on a trip to sell a house to the mysterious Count. Dracula becomes enamored with Lucy when he sees her picture in Jonathan’s locket. He then seals the house deal, bites Jonathan, and travels to the town of Virna to claim his house and his new love. The plot is pretty straightforward and easy to follow, but it takes a long time to set things into motion. If you were to cut out all of the artistic filler and montages, the entire movie would probably be cut from almost two hours to about 40 minutes. The movie itself is interesting, but all of the “blank space”, as I’m going to call it, makes it boring to watch through. I watched half, then had to take a break out of sheer boredom. And for the most part, it doesn’t get to the real good stuff until it’s over halfway done.

And how about the characters? Well, our heroes are kind of annoying, actually. John is just annoying in the traditional sense, but Lucy is like something straight out a Shakespeare tragedy. The whole movie I couldn’t stop thinking of how this is like something you would watch in a high-school English class if it weren’t so obscure. But more on that later. There’s this one chracter, Renfield, who is Dracula’s servant, and he’s just so obviously insane that it’s funny every time he’s on-screen. Not to mention near the end, he’s dressed up almost exactly like the Joker, just without the green hair and makeup. One of the other heroes, Dr. Van Helsing, doesn’t even make his real appearance until near the end of the movie. This isn’t a bad thing, as until the final scene, he’s quite a pompous ass.

Count Dracula, obviously, is the real show-stealer. He not only looks rather creepy with his ghostly white complexion and long fingernails, but the way the character is played out, you almost want to see him win. And I was quite surprised (though I shouldn’t have been, he’s freaking Dracula) that while he looks so old and frail, he can lift objects that look quite heavy and sprint around town with the best of them. And the absolute greatest scene in the movie is when he enters Lucy’s chamber while she brushes her hair. We see her doing her thing in the mirror, and the door behind her opens. Only, there’s no-one there. As you probably know, vampires don’t have reflections, but the shadow was cast on the wall, creating a really cool effect, and scaring the shit out of Lucy. It wasn’t as impressive as some of the special effects they do these days, but I liked the scene pretty well.

The other great scene is right at the end, after the Count is killed (again, I was surprised that he just started convulsing violently and died stiff, rather than burst into flames or something), Van Helsing goes and finishes him off, coming downstairs to some dude and the last town worker. The dude insistes the town worker arrest Van Helsing for killing the Count (which nobody knew was the bad guy), but the old town worker keeps saying he can’t, inciting a dialogue that brings to mind the antics of Monty Python. It was quite hilarious, and the ending scenes are all rather funny, in a stange twist of genre.

Like I said before, this is the kind of thing you might watch in a high-school English class, were it not so obscure. It just seems like that kind of movie. There are a bunch of religious references, and a lot of artistic things that teachers would just love to quiz their students on. It was way better than “the Crucible”, that’s for sure. I wish they didn’t bother having every book students read have to be some kind of social commentary. I’d like it if they just went and picked a good work of fiction that really didn’t have anything to do with anything, but still had enough depth and subtext to learn something from. But in any case, “Nosferatu” was a decent movie. I recommend you watch it, but take some ritalin first, or just be ready on the fast-forward button, as the first half is really slow and doesn’t do much but set up the rest of the plot, much like “The Fellowship of the Ring” does for the other Lord of the Rings books/movies. Heck, after the first half, the main character even shifts. Craziness, I say. But it was way freaking better than the last movie I downloaded – “The Village”. That was just awful.

So there you have it. You can find the torrent over at Go for it. I believe it was worth my time to watch, if even only for the ending scenes. Now it’s really just a hunt for the old 1922 version. Make sure to tell me if you ever find it somewhere. Oh yes, and the December archive is up as well.

Bugged out – second movement

The family PC is yet again inoperable, so I’ve taken matters into my own hands and stolen the modem. Now I’m hooked up to the net in my room, and it’s not nearly what I thought it would be. For one, I have no FrontPage, so I have to do this in the Angelfire editor, which is really inconvenient after working in FrontPage for so long. Secondly, for reasons unknown, most pictures refuse to display in my Internet Explorer browser. I haven’t installed Opera on this PC, but I’m thinking maybe it’s time to try. On the upside, I did get my sound working properly again. I switched out the sound card, and now it works perfectly again.

So that’s my alibi for not posting until now. I’ve got a lot to post about, and I still wanna do an article on Metroid Prime 2, so fixing the main computer is of the greatest importance right now. Sadly, it seems as though the only way to do it is to reformat the thing. This is bad, because all of my site from July up until now is on that hard drive and not backed up. Fortunately, it’s on the internet as well, so I can salvage mostly everything if it becomes necessary. Yeah. I guess I should type some stuff about someting a little more interesting now.

Saw the Spongebob Squarepants movie on Saturday. Was delightfully surprised at how good it was. I was expecting it to be decent at least (I do enjoy the show to some extent, after all), but it came out close to awesome. Pretty much in the “see it twice” range. I wouldn’t buy it, but I would be radiant if it were given to me as a gift. I guess I should tell youse a little bit about the movie, as I was planning on doing a mini-review of it anyway.

The plot is a little strange, but it’s Spongebob, so that’s easily forgivable. It starts with the grand opening of the Krusy Krab 2 (a sequel to a restaurant?? Right beside the original??), and Spongebob is rather hyped, as he is sure that Mr. Krabs will name him the manager of the new store. But as is surely forseeable, Spongebob is not given the job, on account of he is just a kid and not nearly mature enough for the responsibility. He is then struck by depression, and goes on an ice cream bender (and I mean it, he literally gets “drunk” off the stuff) with Patrick, and then the real plot noses itself in.

Over at the Chum Bucket, Plankton is distraught that he has exhausted all of his evil plans. “From A to Y” as he says. but then his computer wife pipes up, suggesting that he try Plan Z. And boy is Plan Z a dastardly one. The tiny genius sneaks into King Neptune’s palace, steals the king’s crown, and sets up Mr. Krabs to take the fall. King Neptune is ready to execute Krabs, but Spongebob comes in an claims that he and Patrick will return the crown, which has been taken away to Shell City. They are ridiculed, on account of they’re just kids, and Neptune’s daughter Mindy convinces him to let them try. He agrees, and gives them six days to return with his crown, and freezes Mr. Krabs solid, just to make sure he doesn’t high-tail it outta there.

The two heroes leave for their quest in the promotional Karbby Patty car, and then the plot thickens. Everything is going perfectly according to Plankton’s scheme, and he sneaks into the Krusty Krab and steals the secret recipe for the Krabby Patty as Krabs watched helpless, encased in ice. Everytihng works out for him, and soon everyone is eating at the Chum Bucket, and as a bonus, Plankton even gives out free bucket helmets to everyone. And that’s not even the last phase of the plan…

Meanwhile, Spongebob and Patrick are having a rough time on their quest, facing many dangers including a giant eel, tough biker fish, several deadly deepsea fish, mocking gas station workers, and a bounty hunter that goes by the name of Dennis. They lose the car twice (you’ll see…) and eventually come to an impassable trench. Mindy shows up and uses her “mermaid magic” to “make them men”, which gives them the courage to jump into the trench and strut right through. It’s also one of the very few musical scenes in the movie. I say few, because I expected there would be many, and I was surprised that – not counting the theme song – there were only two. Maybe Disney’s just fucked my mind to the point where I expect lots of crappy songs in any cartoon movie. I don’t know. Stupid Disney.

So things progress and the plot gets thicker and such, with pseudo-zombies, a “cyclops”, some evil cackling, and David Hasselhoff. I’m not going to spoil the rest of the movie, but I will tell you that the climax is quite awesome. Not giving any specific details, Twisted Sister ends up saving the day. Well not directly, but it’s surely a sight to be seen, and a song to be heard. Really, it’s a great ending that may surpass even the tons of one-liiners and jokes as the best part of the movie. Definitely a great ending for a great movie.

As for why the movie is great, well, it’s Spongebob. If you ever watch the show, you know what kind of humour to expect. Only it’s magnified about a thousand times. In the end, it falls just short of side-splittingly hilarious. Yes, it is mostly idiot humour, but I was very entertained throughout by it. Not quite as funny as Shaun of the Dead, but it surely does it’s job well. It’s kinda funny though, that for most of the movie, I got a really big PeeWee’s Big Adventure vibe. The movies are somewhat similar in terms of plot and events, and I’m not sure how to finish this sentence. I also found the movie to be even more reminiscent of Ren & Stimpy than the show is. Not really noted as a good or bad thing, I just thought I’d mention it.

That’s pretty much it. I strongly urge you to go see the movie. Unless you absolutely can’t stand Spongebob Squarepants. And if you only hate him because he’s so damn popular or you think you’re too cool to like Spongebob, shame on you. Definitely a movie worth your so dollars, and possibly even worth a second full-priced viewing. So if anyone wants to go, I’m in.

You’ve got red on you

My reviews of “Dawn of the Dead” and “28 Days Later” were rather sparkling, so you know that I quite enjoy zombie movies. The gore, the paper-thin plot, and watching the characters fail hopelessly at making it through alive are all fundamental parts of any zombie flick. Lately, they’ve been changing the formula around, making for zombies that aren’t really zombies, but star athletes and spies that just happen to have a hunger for human flesh. And not since the Evil Dead trilogy have we seen a funny zombie movie.

But “Shaun of the Dead” has got it all. Being a parody, it was bound to be funny, but I never quite realized the true potential funny that it had. “Shaun of the Dead” is straight-up, stripped-down, kickass Hilarious. In between all the zingers and fart jokes are some genuinely amusing sight gags and other stuff that I’m not sure how to categorize. It’s a movie that other movies should look up to. Not since “Goldmember” have I seen a movie that kept me laughing almost the whole way through.

And for the other standards, how does “Shaun of the Dead” stack up as a zombie parody? Well, there’s gore. Not boatloads of it, but when you do get to see blood and innards flying about, it’s absolutely beautiful. The plot is great and you can really relate to it, but more on that in the next paragraph. All the characters are rather realistic. I mean, most of the time, the heroes are regular joes, but this bunch of loonies, they set the regular joe standards. Our hero, Shaun, works in an electronics store, and his roomie is a fat, unemployed bum who just plays Timesplitters 2 all day long. Oh, and having Timesplitters 2 in the movie was really awesome. Best of all, the zombies in this movie are actually zombies! None of this running around and being smart crap we’ve been getting lately. These are your good old-fashioned, stumble-around-slowly, fooled-by-impersonators, hungry-for-brains, dead-if-decapitated zombies. It’s nice to see they’ve not been forgotten with all the new Hollywood zombies around.

The plot in this movie is just excellent. It all starts with our hero Shaun getting a lecture about needing to change his ways from his girlfriend, Liz. You see, they spend pretty much every night at Shaun and Ed’s favorite pub, the Winchester. She’s sick of it, and wants him to take her somewhere nice. So the next day begins and you really get the impression of how tedious his life is. Short version of this day’s events: he goes to work, blows it with Liz, gets drunk and is left without a hope or a girlfriend. The next day, he does the exact same morning routine, but it’s his day off, so he heads home when he’s done with his errands. Only you’ll notice that while Shaun’s actions don’t change at all, the scenery does. He doesn’t even notice, showing how repetitive his life it, and that he pretty much goes through on autopilot.

So he gets home, and then the rollercoaster of laughs really gets going. Ed discovers a girl in the garden and the two go to find out why she’s there. At first, they think she’s drunk, but then they accidentally impale her on a pipe or something, and when she gets up, they realize they’ve got a problem. Then a fat zombie shows up and they run inside. From the TV, they find out what’s going on, and they learn how to kill the zombies: by destroying the brain or decapitating them. So, they got back outside and huck everything from old records to pottery at them. After exhausting their supply of throwables, they get a paddle and shovel and just beat the zombies into submission. And I’ll tell you now, this scene is positively hilarious. The banter between Shaun and Ed is gold, and the fact that they don’t really seem phased at all considering that they’ve got two zombies in their back yard is great.

After their close encounter, Shaun resolves to go save his mum and Liz, and take them to the safest place he knows: The Winchester. And I’m not going to give away the rest of the story, because you need to see this movie. It only goes uphill from this point on, although the first encounter scene is really hard to top. Again, you need to see this movie. I loved it, and I am definitely going to buy it when it comes out.

If there is anything at all I can complain about, it’s that unlike most movies where they pick of one or two characters every once in a while (depending on the size of the cast), in this movie they pretty much get it all over at once. Really, once the first of the team of six goes, the rest will shortly follow. Sorry for the little spoiler, but I was a little annoyed at how it played out. Seriously, I think they all die within five minutes. It just ain’t right. But on the upside, all the death is followed up by a spectacular ending with more than a single twist. Oh boy, it’s great.

So yeah. There’s my review of “Shaun of the Dead”, currently competing with “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” for the title of best movie I’ve seen this year. It was awesome, and it had everything I need to enjoy a movie and then some. Sadly, there wasn’t any nudity, a strange twist because most zombie movies have at least one breast in them, but that’s neither here nor there.

And God said “A small coffee and a chocolate dip, please”

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and there is much to tell. But I’ll get to all the other stuff later. Firstly and most importantly, I’ve finally got a job. The call came in this morning and now I’m the newest donut wench at Tim Horton’s. Yay for me. Now I’ll be able to afford my precious when it arrives later this year. That is assuming that I don’t screw up too badly at giving food and such to people. If I’m lucky, they said they might even place me on dish washing duty, a task at which I excel. So yes, I’m a little nervous about giving up most of my time to actually do something, but overall I’m overcome with much joy. And if absolutely nothing else, I’ve finally got something to go on the ol’ resume.

Second of all, I broke down and bought one of the new Pokémon games. It was mostly for the wireless adapter that came with, but you all know I enjoy my Pokémon, so I won’t bother making up any other excuses. The game itself is great, being a port of the first game (which was my favorite) with a whole bunch of new stuff crammed in. The bulk of new areas and quests come after the credits roll for the first time, but there are tons of new gizmos and such for you to toy around with before then. Most outstanding though, are the graphics and music. While they look a lot like the Ruby and Sapphire versions, these new games have a few little extra touches that make it just that much sweeter, like coloured text! And a pretty new font to go with it. The music remixes are great, and hopefully they’ll attract a little attention from the OverClocked Remix community. I’ve always wanted to hear the battle theme in metal, but there isn’t a single Pokémon remix on there…

Thirdly, SKY CAPTAIN! Flippin’ awesome movie. The kind a man like m’self, who doesn’t buy many movies, would buy. And not even because of all the special bonus crap they’re bound to pile on the DVD. Yes, it’s that good. Well, I thought so anyway. The plot goes a little here and there about halfway through, but I’ve never been too picky about a bad story, so it didn’t bother me at all. The only thing I didn’t like is that there weren’t enough of them big robots that steal the spotlight in the trailer. Nope. To be honest (tiny spoilers here), they really don’t play as much a part in the movie as the trailers might have you think. But again, great action flick, go see it.

And last but probably not least, I’ve opened a Geocities account which I plan to use as space to house all of my recent scanned stuff. It’s a little different that what I’m used to, so it might take me a while, but I intend to have the “second” gallery up tomorrow after work. If it’ll happen, I’m not sure, but keep your fingers crossed. Or not. Just do what you like. So I guess I’ll be seein’ yahs then.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

In the transition between winter and spring, there are a lot of father-son bonding activities that are out of the question due to the weather, like skating, mini golf, and playing ball in the park. So when the best things to do are gone away, what do you do? You go see a movie. The movie me and my dad went to see during our last little adventure is titled Dawn of the Dead.

Now I don’t know if I’ve told you before, but I love zombie movies. I’ve enjoyed every zombie movie I’ve seen, even Resident Evil. You’ve read my review of 28 Days Later (If you haven’t… *shakes fist*). Sure I may not have seen a lot of zombie moves, but I still like ’em all. And the craziest part of this is that my dad generally doesn’t like zombie flicks. The fact that even he was swayed by the look of Dawn of the Dead really gives you an idea how awesome this movie is even in commercial form.

Now before I go summarizing the plot, I’d like to get one thing out of the way. I just can’t hold it in any longer. This movie is BAD ASS. And you know I mean it because it’s italicized, bolded, underlined and in caps. But I’m totally serious about this. The movie is full of everything I love; ass kicking, comedy, violence, and gore. And on top of all that there is a baby zombie. I wasn’t sure what to think of it at first, but then I realized that it was possibly the most evil-looking thing I’ve seen in a while.

So now we work on the story part. It all starts with this nurse chick Anna getting home late. She sees a little girl on the way in and they talk about roller skating and such. Then she gets home and in comes this mostly irrelevant shower scene. It’s her and her husband in the shower, and nothing is shown. The only thing this here does is make them miss the “News Bulletin” that interrupts some show they weren’t watching. And thus, we know something is very awry.

The next morning, her husband wakes up to someone gently rapping, rapping upon his chamber door. It’s little roller girl! Only she’s covered in blood. He goes over to see what’s wrong with her and says goodbye to his jugular vein. Blah blah blah, turns into zombie and Anna escapes in car after watching neighbor get hit with ambulance. She drives around and ends up in a bush with a gun pointed to her head.

On the other end is black cop man, Kenneth. They run around and meet up with Michael, Andre and his wife Luda. Luda is very pregnant, and Andre is very intent on having that baby, for reasons other than the obvious which are explained later. (Can you spell “foreshadowing of zombie baby”?) Together, the crew sets off for the only safe place left: the mall. I was sure that would be the first place zombies would go, but whatever.

After somehow getting into the locked mall (the only plot hole me and my dad were able to find), they blast a couple straggling zombies and are held up and captured by what’s left of the mall’s security guards; CJ, Bart, and Terry. CJ’s character is instantly built as a rather insane and very selfish guy. The good news is that he becomes a more likeable character later on. Not much more, but more nonetheless. The heroes turn the table on the guards, and capture them, minus Terry, who has defected to the side of the heroes. And now we learn that Luda has been bitten! (More zombie baby foreshadowing)

While painting SOS signs on the roof, they catch a glimpse of a man trapped on the roof of his gun shop, Alan. They quickly become long-distance friends, and they communicate with dry erase marker boards and binoculars. Later, a truck of 8 or so survivors appears. Two of them are killed off instantly, having been bitten. Our heroes only now figure out that being bitten by zombies turns you into a zombie. I guess they’d never seen any zombie movies before.

Blah blah blah, stuff happens, the find a dog, more people die, and I’m not going to give away any more of the plot. Not that there is really a plot, but I don’t want to spoil some of the cooler scenes or who dies with you. Let’s just put it this way, after the truck survivors appear is when the movie starts to get really good. It’s like when they got to this point while rewriting the script, they said “This movie is good, but we should still inject it with a large does of awesome”. And I bet they did.

Speaking of rewriting the script, I should have mentioned that this is a remake. Some will say the original was better, but I haven’t seen it, so I’m looking at this one from a fresh point of view. There’s only one tiny little problem with this remake. And that would be that Dawn of the Dead is the second movie in a trilogy! Damn you James Gunn! What were you thinking? Now we have no idea why people are turning into zombies! My dad thinks it’s because they wanted to get right to the action and gore. I think he’s right.

Other things I have to pick at? Well, for one, the “got into the mall that was locked all the way around” thing. That’s kind of an explanation-needer. Then there was the fact that some of the best characters died. To be completely honest, I didn’t like the small list of people who made it through. One of my favorite characters, the cynical asshole Steve, was so close to the… Oh crap. I’ve ruined it. Oh well.

Oh yes! My biggest beef with the new version here is that they made the zombies super-zombies. You just can’t do that. 28 Days Later had an excuse; they weren’t really zombies. But in this movie here, they are your stereotypical brain-munching ghouls. Only now they can run like hell and act more like rabid dogs than, you know, zombies. If this trend continues, I’m going to get very mad at Hollywood for screwing with a working formula.

Now that we’ve gotten the anger out of the way, here are some things I liked about the movie. There was plenty of awesome gore shots, and some of the best and messiest kills I’ve enjoyed for some time. And the action was top notch. Apparently, blowing up zombies work really well, and exploding a barrel of fuel right in the middle of a crowd works wonders. That and the shotgun blast to zombie melon were probably my favorite parts of the movie.

One really cool little thing I noticed was that when they showed a shot of a banquet table after our heroes had eaten, there was a red and white bucket that said “PFK” on the side. Do you know what “PFK” means? It’s KFC in French! So I think we can all agree that either some of the movie was shot in Canada, or they went to Canada, got a bucket of the colonel’s finest, and used it as a prop, cause I’ll be damned if they print the buckets with French alternatives down in them United States.

I also mentioned that there was a lot of funny in the movie. There wasn’t as much funny as ass-kicking, but it was perfectly balanced for a horror movie. For one, there was Steve. Pretty much everything that came out of his mouth was hilarious, because he was being such an asshole. Then there was the “Celebrity Zombie Snipe” game that Kenneth and Alan were playing after they got bored with long-distance chess. Some of the zombie kills were funny too, and even a couple zombies were a hoot themselves.

Even the soundtrack is great, if only for one song. Richard Cheese’s take on Down With the Sickness. It suits the part of the movie when it’s played perfectly. That and the song is just freaking hilarious. Some of the other music is cool too, and even sets up a joke or two. Aw, who am I trying to kid? I’d buy the soundtrack just for the Down With the Sickness cover. It’s that great. Or at least I think so.

What else do I need to say? The acting was pretty good I guess, but apparently I don’t know good acting anyway so there’s no reason to go into detail about that. Likewise, the story was all you can expect from a remake of a 1970’s zombie flick: Solid yet simple with few to no plot holes. The only thing that messed the story was the omission of the first freaking chapter.

And that’s what I think of Dawn of the Dead. While a couple things could have been fixed, it was a great movie that even I, a guy who doesn’t buy movies, would buy. I recommend you go see it as soon as you can. Unless, you know, you’re a pussy and a movie like this isn’t your cup of pussy tea. This is a movie that everyone should see! I can’t stress that enough. And now I really want to find the original, just so I can make sure it kicked as much ass. Definitely an A for this one. It loses the + because of that ‘lack of the first movie’ flub.

The Good Stuff:
  • Tons of gore and mayhem
  • Some hilarious scenes
  • Soundtrack features Richard Cheese
  • Zombie baby!
  • Titties!
  • The Bad Stuff:
  • Throws you into the middle of a story with no explanation
  • The “active zombie” thing is a bit annoying
  • Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

    First of all, if you’re actually reading this, I salute you, as some people might have skipped it just because of the subject in question. And that makes me unhappy, because Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is a great movie. I can remember always enjoying Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and damned if I’m going to shun something just because of indecent exposure. But that aside, let’s get to the review.

    Like I said, I really loved Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and just like with the Goonies, I watch it every time it’s on TV. It’s just one of those great adventure-type movies that never really gets old. All those funny one-liners and 80’s slang is infinitely entertaining. Plus, it stars Pee-wee Herman, possibly one of the greatest victims of extreme quirkiness ever.

    I guess a film review wouldn’t be very complete without a bit of a plot synopsis, so here we go. As our movie starts, we get Pee-wee doing his morning routine; eating a breakfast of Mr. T cereal, watering the lawn, and going for a ride on his bike. We’re also introduced to the yang to Pee-wee’s yin, (at least, I think that’s the term. In any case, Pee-wee’s sworn enemy,) Francis. This fat freak is more or less the main villain of the flick, so feel free to hate him as soon as you see him. After failing to be convinced to sell his bike to Francis, Pee-Wee goes on his way.

    He gets to the mall, stops by a magic shop to pick up some supplies and then heads to the bike store to get his custom bike horn. Dotty, Pee-wee’s friend and a worker at the bike shop, stops Pee-wee for a chat, and tries to convince him to take her on a date. But like me, Pee-wee just can’t confine himself to one woman, so he (rather ungraciously) declines and leaves, only to find that his bike has been stolen! Now this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but Pee-wee’s bike is clearly the alpha male of bikes.

    In a state of mixed panic and anger, Pee-wee rushes to accuse Francis, and opens our first scene of horror. Now Francis just happens to be having a bath when Pee-wee arrives, and that is a very, very bad thing for our eyes. While he is wearing a bathing suit, his form is much less than appealing, and we have to watch it blubber around for far too long. Though the scene does have some comedy value, it’s almost disturbing in its own little way.

    Since Francis didn’t have the bike, Pee-wee realizes that he’s gonna have to seek some help, so he calls a meeting of all his friends. When they prove to be no help, he winds up at a fortune teller’s place, and she tells him that his bike is in the basement of the Alamo. This sparks the beginning of Pee-wee’s big adventure, and my, is it a big adventure.

    The movie is full of everything, and doesn’t cut any corners. There is plenty of hilarity, and a lot of action to boot. Pee-wee meets a wide variety of people, including an escaped convict (he cut the tag off a mattress!), a ghostly truck driver, a wannabe-French waitress, her insanely jealous boyfriend, a hobo, and plenty of other outrageous characters. The fun never ends in this movie, but there is one scene that is really farking scary.

    When Pee-wee is walking down the highway in the dark, he gets picked up by a suspicious trucker. She calls herself Large Marge, and tells Pee-wee the story of a horrible trucking accident. The mood at this point has gone far from child’s comedy and gotten downright creepy. And then to top it all off, Large Marge scares the living crap out of Pee-wee and me, by turning into this horrible claymation monster. Sure, it doesn’t sound scary in words, but the first time I saw it I had nightmares for all too long, and every time I’ve seen it afterwards I left the room until I was sure the scene was over.

    Okay, maybe I’m making a much bigger deal of this than I should have, and maybe it’s not all that scary, but it was damn horrendous when my age was still a single digit. Come to think of it, this movie is a whole year older than me! I never realized that until now. Odd… But anyway, RoG at I-Mockery thinks is pretty damn freaky too, and people respect him more than me, so… so yeah!

    But back to the rest of the movie, as far as I can remember, it’s a far cry from the show, mostly because Pee-wee spends almost no time in his house. It’s quite sad, I can’t remember even a guest appearance by Chairy. And what is the secret word? We may never know… While Pee-wee’s dog Speck was in the movie, he only got a little bit of on-screen time. But to be completely honest, all I can really remember of Pee-wee’s Playhouse is the little parody thing they did on Family Guy.

    At least we still saw a lot of Pee-wee. That’s why anyone would watch the movie. Honestly, who could not want to be like him? He’s quite literally a grown man living the life of a child! Think about it for a moment, and if you can think of a better way to live life than acting like a kid, having no job (but still mysteriously getting income), eating Mr T cereal, and having the bike that everyone else wants, you’ve got one Hell of a problem.

    I should also mention that there are quite a few special guest appearances. My personal favourite was Twisted Sister, but also on the list are big stars like James Brolin and Godzilla. Actually… I think there was only one other, but if you wanna know for sure, just look it up or watch the movie and read the Special Guest Stars list in the credits.

    Now as for memorable scenes, the best one is easily the bar dance, where Pee-wee is caught by a biker gang and is given one last request. He uses it to pop a coin into the jukebox, grab a pair or dance shoes, and then rocks out to “Tequila”. His dance wins the collective affection of the gang, and they send him out on his way on a motorcycle, only to have him crash into a signboard, resulting in absolute hilarity.

    Another scene you’ll more than likely take notice of, is when Pee-wee is chaining up his bike outside the mall. The producers obviously missed a little something, as Pee-wee pulls a very long chain out of a compartment that obviously couldn’t hold it, and when they zoom in on the box, you can see the chain being fed into the bottom of it. Sure, it’s unintentional funny, but it’s one of the parts I remember best.

    So in the end, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is one Helluva movie. Unless you still harbour some kind of grudge against Paul Rubens, I can’t see a way that anyone could not enjoy this movie. It quite literally has a little something for everybody, and it’s a lot of fun. I’d buy it, but I just don’t do that kind of thing. You on the other hand, I advise you to at least try to catch it next time it’s on TV, cause it’s definitely worth your time. Especially if you can’t sleep and want something to do. A+

    The Good Stuff:
  • It’s Pee-Wee
  • Classic 80’s humour
  • I pity the fool that don’t eat Mr. T Cereal!
  • The Bad Stuff:
  • It’s Pee-Wee
  • Large Marge will GIVE YOU NIGHTMARES
  • I don’t eat Mr. T cereal…
  • 28 Days Later

    Today I’m gonna try something new. It’s what I’m gonna call a “mini-review”. It’s just like a normal article, except it’s a lot shorter and has no pictures. Plus the lack of proper intro and conclusion. This doesn’t count, it’s just explaining how the mini-review works. Maybe sometimes there will be a couple pics, but not for today at least. I think that I’ll start on a high note today, and review my first movie. Sure, I said I’d do a review of Airplane, but that fell through because I can’t find it and I swore off downloading movies and music. So like the title says, I’m gonna take a quick look at the newest zombie horror-type film, 28 Days Later.

    Now before I get into it, 28 Days Later is not your standard zombie flick. Sure, the plot might be somewhat similar to a certain movie about a certain Resident Evil, but on the whole, it’s a very original movie, in all respects. At least I think so.

    It starts off with some animal rights geeks busting into a monkey testing lab. A lone scientist begs them to get out and leave the monkeys in the cages, but you know those anal animal rights geeks. They don’t listen, and bam! world-threatening situation. See, these monkeys were infected with what the now-dead science guy calls “rage”. It seems that it turns the carrier into a bloodthirsty monster. And now the plot is settled.

    The greatest part of the movie is undeniably the way the title is worked in. After the monkey attack, the screen goes black, says “28 days later…” in the corner, and goes to 28 days after the incident. Here we find our hero, cleverly named Jim, naked and alone in a hospital. He awakes to find the place a mess and the city deserted. After stumbling around for a while, Jim runs into his first “infected”, ironically, a priest. He runs, and several infected chase him until they’re blown up by some mysterious masked not-infected.

    So they save him and get all “we need to survive” on him. I only remember the chick’s name was Selina (I think), because the other guy gets hacked to bits later on. Then Jim and his new buddy find some other buddies, a fat guy named Frank and his daughter Hannah. They all go on a road trip to find some kind of sanctuary. And then Frank gets mad at a crow, resulting in the dropping of infected blood in his eye. Oh, I forgot to mention that the “rage” travels by blood, and getting even a single drop of it in your bloodstream will have you turn into a murderous animal of your former self within 22 seconds.

    I’ll leave you there, because I don’t want to spoil the rest of the movie for you. Already I think I’ve given too much away. Then again, you know from the first time you see him that Frank is gonna die. So I’ll say that I’m in the clear this time. Now to look at the more cinematograpical parts of the movie. It’s fun to make new words.

    I’m not sure why, but people seem to be very critical of actors’ acting ability. Personally, I can’t tell exactly what good acting is from bad acting, so it’s really all the same to me. I suppose that you’d say the actors are good in this particular movie. I know that the infected give rather convincing performances. Especially the army guy, who you’ll get to know better when you watch the movie.

    Speaking of the infected, they are what really separate this film from other zombie flicks. These guys are not your daddy’s zombies. While they look like the generic zombie (perhaps less decaying) they certainly don’t act like ’em. These guys are fast. They run like Hell until they’ve caught their prey or die trying. They’re essentially people reduced to the lowest form of animal consciousness, and covered in gore. Not to mention their enjoyable pastime of spitting up buckets of blood.

    The music is for the most part what you would expect, very moody and frightening. But when things aren’t totally down the crapper for the stars, the music is very upbeat and happy, soothing even. I don’t know how to explain why it works, but it does. And (to my knowledge) it’s all made specifically for the film, no bands of any sort that I could recognize.

    As for anything else, the special effects were great. Actually, all effects were great. They actually filmed it in London of wherever, and somehow they did it without any signs of life at all. No lights on, no car, no people, no noise. Nothing. It’s really something you can think about and appreciate. The infected effects were above par, mostly because they didn’t have to do the falling apart like most zombies, and just put lots of fake blood all over them and pop in some red contacts. I should also mention that there is a nice amount of exploding in the flick, and good explosions can salvage almost any movie. I also liked when they did “infected-cam” scenes. I’m not totally sure why, but they were a fun part of the movie.

    The DVD extras are always my least favorite part. They’re usually crappy storyboards or music videos. This one came with storyboards, production photos, and a nice surprise, 3 extra endings. My beef is that two of the endings are the same ending, just cut into two. The third one, the “Radical Alternate Ending” is the crème de la crème of special features. It’s a storyboard with voice-overs that shows a completely different end, not just with a minor twist like the previous two. I would have loved if it had been shot and put in, as it seemed like it would be enjoyable to watch. Heck, I liked it a little more than the real ending. I’m not sure if there were any other features, cause I didn’t check, but chances are they weren’t worth checking out anyway.

    Overall, I really loved 28 Days Later. It wasn’t scary in the least, but it was a lot of fun. The only part I didn’t like was the brief and obscure wang shots, and the man butt. But those were over right away, and they were quick so they didn’t interfere too much. Sadly, that was the only type of nudity in the movie, but that can be forgiven. There was plenty of blood and gore, which I loved. Nothing better for a horror than tons of gore. There was plenty of cursing, which I’m impartial to, and the “attempted rape” scene was barely that. The story was solid, at least I think so, and it made enough sense to be plausible. This movie definitely gets my seal of approval. A+

    The Good Stuff:
  • Seamless title integration
  • Plenty of gore
  • Plausible story
  • Cool, ass-kicking pseudo-zombies
  • One sweet bonus ending (even if it is in storyboards)
  • The Bad Stuff:
  • Hollywood zombies will never be the same…
  • Man ass
  • The other two bonus endings are lackluster
  • Are you ready for some football?

    As this is slowly becoming more bloggy as time goes by, I guess I should state why I haven’t completed that new article yet. Well, Friday was our school’s “outside fun day”. After enduring more activity in one day than I’ve had the rest of my life, my body was incredibly sore. It still is. I can barely move, never mind get out of bed.

    Yesterday I managed to get out to the Bombers game. We had tickets to the VIP Blue & Gold room, so I couldn’t not go. So we got there, I ate a lot and met this really nice girl. We knew little more than each other’s names, but we got along famously. Only since I don’t know the proper protocol to liking a girl, I never thought to ask for a way to get in touch with her. So now I’ll probably never see her again. Oh well. The game was good, except for the fact that the Bombers stunk up the place and managed to lose a game that they could have won so easily. It was 26-20 with a minute left, and they threw the damn ball 3 times, when running it would have been the obvious solution. So after a long day, I still hurt and plopped right into bed. I wasn’t sleepy, but I almost literally couldn’t get up, so I laid there until about 9. Then I got up(and I use the term “up” loosely), watched Identity, which sucks, except for Amanda Peet is in it. And now I’m writing this. Now I’ve got a whole Sunday ahead of me. After a quick nap, if nobody’s on the PC, I’ll get right to work. Later dudes.

    ~Ryan out.

    Rise of the Exaggerations

    Summer is still busy, I’m still procrastinating, and the article is due out Wednesday. I guessed Monday, but I still have to take the pics, and you wouldn’t believe how monotonous it is unless you actually did it. Screenshots = no fun. Anyway, the actual writing is all done, so it’s just the pics and I can put it up. But I’m not doing it today. Not until the shock of how fricking great Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is wears off. I knew it would be good, but it as just beyond words. Go see that movie right now. It’s worth every last penny you’ll spend on it. Hell, it’s worth double admission. I’m serious. Why are you still reading this? Get to that damn movie. I guarantee you will love it.
    ~Ryan out.