Thursday, May 29, 2008

Indiana Jones: A Review, Or How I Learned to Survive An Atomic Blast

I've been busy the last couple of weeks. I moved up to Austin (again, and for the last time) a couple of weeks ago with my girlfriend, Stephanie. We found a nice little duplex off of Slaughter and settled in well. Our friends, Patrick and Ray, moved into the other half of the duplex, which means we'll either A.) wind up hating each other, or B.) nothing will ever get done. So far, "B" seems to be the winning choice.

Last Tuesday I went to the hospital because my mother was getting a heart catheter put in to see if she had any blockage...and she did. So much so, in fact, that they had to do emergency triple bypass surgery to save her life. As such, I've been in Houston for a while hoping my mother recovered -- and she did -- so I could breath easy.

All of this brings us to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a movie I've been dying to see. I missed opening weekend for obvious and important reasons, so now that I was back in Austin I could finally see it! I'm 24 years old, which means I've never seen Indiana Jones on the big screen before. Although, I consider the series to be my favorite movie series ever, I've never had the pleasure of seeing any of them in the theater.So, obviously, I'd see it at the Alamo Drafthouse because, well, why would you go anywhere else, right? I caught a matinée showing yesterday with my girlfriend, Stephanie, and Patrick (with surprise guest, my old roommate Nick, and his girlfriend) and sat in the middle row, middle of the row, because I have to do that. I'm compelled to do that.

Alamo Drafthouse always shows great trailers before they're movies, especially if they have old trailers that somehow tie into the the movie you're about to see-- which is what they did. The Raiders of the Lost Ark trailer played before the movie and it was old, and shitty-looking, but most importantly: magical. I would've died to be able to see that movie on the big screen! There were some other trailers -- one starring Shia Lebouf -- and some regular Drafthouse fair about shutting the fuck up in the theater when it happened. The logo. No matter how excited I am for a movie, no matter how many times I've seen certain movies, there's no greater joy for me than seeing Lucasfilm Ltd. sparkle its way onto the screen. It's like a magical contract you've signed with your heart. OK, it's not like that, but you do know you're in for a memorable ride-- for better or for worse.

Indiana Jones sort of fits between those two extremes. It was strange, really. It was like watching Indiana Jones, but not in an Indiana Jones movie. I know that sounds weird, but that's the best way to describe it. The characters were all there and they fit nicely into the Indyverse, but there was a spark missing for some reason. Now, that spark could've been missing for a number a reasons. Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford are all a lot older now, and maybe they're out of touch with what is cool now? Maybe. But I think it was more likely that the script was just...weird. There is a lot going on this movie-- just like you would expect, but the majority of it never really comes to together. Often times I sat and wondered "Why is this in here?" Apparently, David Koepp has the answer to this as he "stitched" several drafts together to create this movie. Which is a big problem.

That was a biggest problem for me. I could go on and on about little things, or ridiculous scenes, but it all boils down to one thing: it's disjointed. Nothing in the movie matches up and thats why many people are leaving the theaters scratching their heads going, "Wow... geez... that was... what did you think... because I.... hmm..." Like the other Indiana Jones movies, this one leaves you with a sense of wonder-- a wondering what happened. There are several head-scratching moments to be found throughout, like when Indiana Jones haplessly his way onto a nuclear test site and has to hide in a fridge (seriously) to survive the blast. Then it cuts to him back home, safe and sound, being questioned and treated as a traitor to America, something that never rears back up again despite the story making you think this is important. Okaaay.

What also didn't help was the lack of urgency. At no time (expect the jungle sequence) did you feel like Indy and crew were really in trouble.
*Highlight the next part to read it-- I have a spoiler!*
For example: Indy and Marion are trapped in a quicksand sort of pit when Marion spills the beans on Mutt (Lebouf) being his son. This seems like the kind of thing that would build and build, there would be a lot of emotion surrounding it, or at least some type of crescendo in the action, but there isn't. She kind of casually mentions it, like she isn't about the die.

I mentioned the jungle scene. That was a cool scene. That felt like an Indiana Jones movie... until Shia literally Tarzan's through the jungle with a gang of monkeys. Literally. Besides that you had all the elements of an Indy movie: fights, explosions, jokes, gruesome deaths, and Indy being Indy. There are more elements, but that scene really just had those.

Even the end, when all the sci-fi stuff happened; that didn't really bother me. Yes, it's about aliens, but how is that more extreme that Indy finding the Ark-- the fucking Ark of the Covenant-- and watching (read: hearing) it eat Nazis? The sci-fi thing made sense. Hitler was all about the occult-- that's documented. Once WWII was over the world entered a state of technological leaps and explorations. After all, the Cold War was a war about technology, so the alien thing fit because that's what this was about: a race for technology.

You should still see this movie simply because it's an Indiana Jones movie. I was glad to see it. However, as someone who likes movies this particular film was flat and hollow. It wasn't a full film, and that makes me wonder: were Lucas and Spielberg trying to make a new Indiana Jones movie, or were they trying to make a summer blockbuster?

--End Transmission--

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I'm trying out a new blog template, so tell me what you think. I like this one a lot, but I'd be nice if I could design my own, or at least have more of a say in what the template looks like...

--End Transmission--

Wanna See Iron Man for Free?

You can! All it costs is your dignity (maybe). Mr. Harry Knowles-- in usual cool fashion-- has set up a free screening of Iron Man at the Alamo Drafthouse next Monday night! Hit the link and read all about the rules. Yes, the rules, because nothing is really free. I would totally compete in this, but I already have plans for that night that cannot be broken because the power of BBQ is too strong, and my stomach is too weak.

If you know anyone who lives in Chicago, then you may want to clue them in on this. Now everyone gets a shot a free screening!

--End Transmission--

Friday, April 18, 2008


Mortal Kombat...versus...DC Comics? Nothing about this makes sense. Marvel vs. Capcom made sense because despite both being from different mediums they were still both comic bookish in nature, but this, this is not natural.

Despite everything, Sub Zero is fighting Batman in the clip above, so I'm sold no matter how little sense this all makes. I'm still working this all out in my head, but how are they going to have fatalities? The DC super-heroes aren't going to kill anyone. They don't in the comics and there's no way DC would portray their characters killing anyone for any reason-- especially Batman and Superman!

--End Transmission--

Quint on Chan!

AICN has a good interview with Jackie Chan about all things Jackie Chan. The meat of the interview is about The Forbidden Kingdom starring Chan and Jet-Li, but they get into an interesting chat about American action movies versus Chinese action movies.

For example, Chan says that movies like Rush Hour 1 and 2 (he never mentions 3, by the way) were huge hits here in America, but had lackluster box office returns in China. OK, it straight up bombed in China. He goes on to say, however, that movies the Chinese audience loves never do well here.

Anyway, it's a pretty good read if you like Jackie Chan. And even if you don't it's still a good read because it really seems like Jackie didn't care too much for his own movie, which is damn shame since he and Jet-Li finally teamed up.

--End Transmission--

Monday, April 14, 2008

Strong Bad vs. The Wii

If you pay any attention to game magazines you've no doubt seen all the WiiWare coverage. However, you may not know about this gem of gems. That's right: Strong Bad is getting is own game.

There's not much else to say here. Head over to homestarrunner if you've never heard of it and prepare thyself.

--End Transmission--

Iron Man Suits Revealed

Marvel is really pushing this movie. Which is fine. Exposure is always good and everything shown so far has looked excellent, including the game. It's also nice to see Tony Stark as a likeable character again. After being demonized in Civil War he's been nothing but dumped on in the comic world. With Downey Jr. as ol' shell head we're getting a kinder, gentler Tony Stark. We're seeing him before his drinking problem, before he fixed his own heart, and before he was blamed for Captain America's death.

But I digress.

The video game, helmed by SEGA, looks sharp. Recently, SEGA revealed all the unlockable suits in the game. The collection looks good, but I found it odd that War Machine wasn't included. I figured they'd throw that one in to tease fans for inevitable next movie.

--End Transmission--

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Condemned 2: Review

We've all experienced that one game that just doesn't click with us. Your friends like, the internet likes it, you even saw Jesus in line at Gamestop picking up his pre-order, but you starred blankly at the cover, confused. You even decided to give it a shot--nothing. You're dead to it and you don't know why. Nothing you read about the game makes any sense, and you come to the only conclusion that makes sense: you missed something.

Well, I guess I missed something because Condemned 2 fucking sucked. To put it bluntly. Maybe that's a little extreme; I actually did like aspects of it, but overall it did nothing for me. Why? The controls. Some of the worst mapping since people thought the Earth was flat can be found here. Everything, everything you do is slow while the rest of the world moves at a pace 2x faster than you. You're a brawler in this game, with the left and right punches mapped nicely to the triggers and the left and right hooks mapped nicely to the left thumb stick, which must be pressed in conjunction with one of the triggers, in the middle of battle, when there's a half second delay or more between you pulling the trigger and your character actually throwing a punch. Think Resident Evil on PS but in first person.

There's a difference between learning how the controls work and learning how to deal with the controls. You probably noticed I didn't talk about the interesting story or the good graphics, that's because I don't care.

--End Transmission--

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Zelda: The Movie?

This is just damn cruel. posted an article and video for the the NEW FUCKING ZELDA MOVIE!

Disappointingly, this is not real. Not that anyone ever believed it to be, but I still feel I have to say that because someone, somewhere can't wait to see this. Still, the ideas they're playing with in the trailer are pretty cool. Not surprisingly, Ocarina of Time was used as the basis for the movie, but with a few tweaks. For instance, Zelda locks Link away in the Temple of Time just as war comes to Castle Hyrule-- which I thought was pretty cool. It almost seemed like he was stuck in there for 7 real-time years instead of the magic sleep he was in during the game.

Ugh, too bad this isn't real. Well, I'm glad this isn't real because this movie doesn't look that great as far as movies go, but the idea is a wonderful one that, if done right, would be epic as shit.

--End Transmission--

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith: Update!

The current issue of Game Informer has a write up on the next Guitar Hero game, starring Aerosmith. If you like things for free, however, then feel free to swing by 1up for an equally in-depth report on what this game is all about.

The last time I wrote about Guitar Hero 4.1: Aerosmith (not official title) I was very skeptical on how a game filled entirely with Aerosmith music would be good. Apparently, Activision was also skeptical because only 60 percent of the tunes will be by Aerosmith. The other 40 will be opening act songs by bands Aerosmith played with back in the day.

A lot of people (myself included) may not think Aerosmith is a good choice for this, but, shit, you gotta start somewhere, right? If this works... soo many awesome bands could get this same treatment after the masters of selling out-- I mean, the masters of ROCK-- prove it's a formula that works.

Oh, here is a a sample list of some of the other songs in the game (no idea if they're covers or not):

  • "Dream Police" -- Cheap Trick
  • "All the Young Dudes" -- Mott the Hoople
  • "I Hate Myself for Loving You" -- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
  • "All Day and All of the Night" -- The Kinks
--End Transmission--

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Theaters, Higher Prices, Pissed Off Public

Higher ticket prices, 3D experiences, "a concierge service", valet parking, and high-priced food equals better movie going experience? According to Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas out of Australia, yes. Variety recently posted an article about these new Super cinemas where Graham Burke, managing director and CEO of Village Roadshow Ltd. had this to say.

"It's a new way to go to the movies,"It's like what Mercedes is to a Toyota or like flying first class in an airplane."

Really? Or is it more like watching a fucking movie, sitting in a nice chair, eating expensive food and still having to deal with loud teenagers, crying babies, and idiots who are so self-involved they really think the actors can hear them?
People don't go to the movies anymore for two reasons: 1.) theaters suck. No one cares about food or valet parking or 3D; people care about being able to watch a movie in peace. There are only a handful of places that actually still use ushers. Teens and assholes know they can go to a theater and be as loud and obnoxious as they want because no one will do anything about it.
2.) Let's put some of that money into actually making good films. People don't go to the movies anymore because there's nothing to see. Movies, for the most part, suck nowadays.

They did this same crap back in '50s. The movies blew and everyone knew it so they tried to make the theaters awesome. Plush seats and 3D glasses was Hollywood's way of hiding the fact that they couldn't pull good movies out of their ass even if they tried. They were shaking keys in front of Americans and watched as they clapped their hands with glee, drooled, and made a poopie.
This is what we have to look forward to:

--End Transmission--

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Go Joe!

AICN posted some more information about the new "G.I. Joe" movie that will be helmed by Stephen Sommers of "Deep Impact" and the "Mummy" fame. Apparently, Access Hollywood has the inside scoop on G.I. Joe:

The film is reportedly an origins story. It could explain why Destro has a chromed and why Snake-Eyes doesn't speak, among other outlandish details of "G.I. Joe" that the cartoon never explained.

Nice subtle insult there, Access Hollywood.

--End Transmission--

Monday, March 24, 2008


I pulled this photo from AICN. There's a write-up over there with more pictures and Ray Park's Snake-Eyes. Who is Ray Park you ask? Any nerd will scream at you that he's Darth Maul! The sexy Sith who could beat Darth Vader! (bullshit). Oh, and he was Toad in X-Men (a movie that apparently bridged the gap between comic nerds and you gentiles. I could go on forever about how much I hated X-Men, and I might one day, but we're here to talk about G.I. Joe, damnit!)

So yeah, Snake-Eyes looks cool. I guarantee that if this movie does well there will be a Snake-Eyes spin-off movie. Or a Stormshadow spin-off movie?! Or a Snakes-Eyes vs. Stormshadow the movie!!!???

--Go Joe--

Kings of Power 4 Billion %

Remember Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006? Maybe you do and maybe you don't...
If you were one of the lucky ones to witness Paul Robertson's SNK-style masterpiece, then you'll understand why my underwear is stained.

P.S. Best watched with eyes and mouth wide open.

--End Transmission--

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Good flicks coming?

I know, I am as confused as you. But, there actually are some decent-ass films coming out in the upcoming months. It looks like children's novels turned movies are taking a break-- thankfully. I was going to write a whole thing about each upcoming film and how I'd sell someone else's baby to see them, but, shit, I'll just post some trailers and spare the pain...


Click link. enjoy.
Oh, and Heath Ledger died. I'm required by law to tell you that when talking about this movie.

Now, there isn't actually a trailer for this movie yet, but from what I've read everything seems to be going along nicely and Edward Norton even has some writing credits. A while back I read an interview over at aintitcool saying something about how this movie would be more akin to the old TV show. Since there is no trailer for this, enjoy this instead!


Annnnd, this new one, which really shows you how awesome this will be.

Iron Man Exclusive Trailer

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The Matrix boys are tackling Speed Racer. A show our parents loved. I was never the biggest fan of Speed and Co., but you cannot deny how sexy this movie looks.

Indiana Jones is my personal Jesus. Like many, I grew up watching these movies on video. Real men don't cry; it's a scientific fact. I will cry tears of joy during this movie-- that's a fact. Guess I better bring some weights with me, get my work out on to show I'm a real man and shit.

--End Transmission--

Friday, February 15, 2008

Guitar Hero 4.1: Aerosmith

According to, Activision plans to release four new Guitar Hero games this year starting with one about Aerosmith. The story goes on saying:

The new game, planned for a June 2008 release, will place virtual rockers into the shoes of Aerosmith guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford and bassist Tom Hamilton....The game will apparently put players on the same track as Aerosmith's career, going from small club shows all the way up to rock legends. So, basically, the same "story" as all the other Guitar Hero games, but with a more recognizable face on it.

1up was quick to point out that drummer, Joey Kramer, and the androgynous Steven Tyler will not be playable for obvious reasons. This sounds about as much fun as Guitar Hero II-- boring and uninspired. Look, if I wanted to experience Aerosmith I'd ride the Disney World roller coaster. Still, I wonder, if the player is meant to experience everything from their career does that mean you'll get to experiment with mind-expanding drugs and have lots of anonymous sex in a consequence free environment? Will you get to argue with Steven Tyler about his choice on trying to marry a 14-year-old girl? Lordy me, I hope so.

Following a band's career-- regardless of the band-- will not be fun. Part of the draw of Guitar Hero, and even Rock Band, is the diversity of the songs. Anything to compete with Rock Band though, huh? If Guitar Hero 4.2-4.4 follows the same formula then let's hope Led Zeppelin is thrown in there, hm? Please? No, seriously... fucking please. I really don't know how to make myself any clearer, Activision. Do I need to appease you in some way? What's that? A virgin sacrifice?

--End Transmission--

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Marriage?

In case you were wondering why it was raining blood today and pillars of flame broke through the ground, hearkening the end of all, Gary Coleman got married. Yeah.
Apparently, his wife claims that he can get mad sometimes and doesn't care for "the violence."
That's right, the violence. Not violence in general-- something no one likes-- but his violence.

According to Inside Edition, Coleman's violence meter maxed out before appearing on the show:
He said, “I threw the printer because my agent wanted to send me a fax, and it wouldn’t fax, and she [Price] was upset at me over something that I had done. And I just took that printer and said, ‘You know what, you just need to die.’”


This isn't really surprising since a couple of years ago Coleman was on some date show on MTV (?) and when he lost a go-kart race to his date he screamed at her and called her a cheater. Oh, and he threw his Playstation controller at her too. Their children will no doubt be pariahs and it will be well deserved.

--End Transmission--

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

these dreams go on when I close my eyes...

I'm starting a blog because I don't know what else to do with my life right now! Yay! If you're reading this it's because I know you and I asked you to read it (thank you). I will be posting about anything and everything I fucking feel like from now on, starting with a cool dream I had. Since dreams are visual I will insert a video to help convey my dream that I dreamed? Dreamt?

Anyway, last night I dreamed about the Greek gods... and their destruction by my hands. For whatever reason I was charged with destroying them. Basically, I was Kratos.

Forgive the music, I did not make this video. (Skip ahead to the middle, it gets fucking awesome).

However, I was not Kratos. I was me and I somehow stole the "essence" of each god and combined it with the "essence" of a titan and placed said "essences" in stone statues that came to life and committed many MURDER/DEATH/KILLS. Then, I made out with a robot and traveled through time with a talking $80 bill, thus freeing human beings from the gods' pettiness so we could invent cars, and porno.

--End Transmission--