Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday mini-movie: New Year's edition

I can think of no better way to prepare for the new year than enjoying a funny cat video. It's short, so feel free to watch it a dozen or so times like I did.

This is borderline animal abuse, but really, you can tell the cat totally wanted it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hip-hip-hooray for Christmas vacation!

Well, Christmas is almost here and that means I have to be hitting the road.

Where to, you may ask. To the middle of BFE where the internet hasn't even been heard of yet. So, yeah, no posts for a few days.

Merry Christmas everyone. (That's right, I'm forcing religion on you.) I'll see you real soon.

In the meantime, feel free to catch up on the glorious posts of old on

I hear they are grade-A, high quality internet schlock.

Movie of the week: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Just so we're clear, I am very, very excited to see The Curious Case of Banjamin Button.

If there was a theater where I will be spending my Christmas holiday, I'd see it the day it opened. That's right, baby Jesus, we'd be celebrating your big day with a backwards aging Mr. Pitt.

This movie's concept makes me giddy. So much to think about. Seriously, what would it be like if you started out looking 85 and aged backwards? What if you found that special someone at 35 and, as you grew toward 18, she moved on to 50. Could love survive? In such fit form, would you join the army even though, technically, you're about 60 years old?

Anyway, I don't think anything I can say will convince you, so I'll leave it to Button. Just look into those eyes over there. They're like, hypnotizing you or something...Goooo seeee thiiiiis moooovieeeee....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday mini-movie: Christmas edition

Well, it’s that time of year again. Christmas, Chanukah, New Year’s Day, you name it.

staticEchoes won’t be grinding to an absolute halt over the next couple weeks, but please forgive what will undoubtedly be a slow period. What with work, holiday schedules and all that jazz, it’s going to be a busy end to 2008, and blogging might have to hit the back burner while I visit with the family.

Meanwhile, enjoy this video. Yaaaaay Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Movie of the week: Scrooged

Since nothing worth noting is coming out to DVD or theaters this week, it looks like it’s time to pull something from the ole Movie Bank of Quality Flicks.
It being nearly Christmas and all, it only seems appropriate that guide its readers toward a festive film full of holiday joy.

Rather than go with the obvious Miracle on 34th Street or uuber-classic A Christmas Story, (or even the overly awesome National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) I thought I’d dig a bit deeper to come up with a recommendation few have probably actually seen.

This week’s movie-to-see, (and yes, you should consider this homework, cause it’s gonna be on the final) is the underground hit Scrooged, starring Bill Murray and several other people with names you would likely recognize.

It still baffles me how many people blink at me as though I’ve grown an extra limb when I ask if they’ve seen this movie.


Take a classic Christmas tale, throw in a dark comedic edge and modernize the whole thing (modern if it were the 1980’s, that is) and you’ve got yourself a fantastic Christmas movie with loads of laughs and plenty of holiday spirits. HA!...Cause, see, he’s like Scrooge…And gets visited by Christmas ghosts…or spirits…holiday spirits…


Do yourself a favor and go rent this one. Be sure to post a comment and let me know what you think.

(P.S. Holy holiday is that a terrible movie poster. It gives you literally no idea what the movie is about. They should insert the word “awesome” or "scrumtrulescent" on there somewhere, just so everyone knows what they are in for.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Keep fighting: Resistance 2 review

Being a huge fan of the original Resistance for the PS3, I went into part two with high expectations. While the experience is improved overall, I have a problem with some aspects being fixed that weren’t really broken to begin with.

The weapons are one example. I loved the arsenal in R1. The guns were unique and, most importantly, fun. While several of the human and Chimeran firearms make their triumphant return and a couple new additions pop up, the weaponry is slimmed down, less creative and, in my opinion, less exciting.

Also, apparently a lot of folks did not like the way the first story was told. Between chapters, you watched a short cutscene wherein a British operative tells about the exploits of Nathan Hale with maps, photos and blueprints dancing in and out of the background. You were then dropped into Hale’s boots to continue the tale, making you feel like something of a living legend while you mowed down the masses of Chimeran baddies.

Resistance 2’s story is told on the fly, with the game seldom leaving the first person perspective. The intent was to create a more immersive experience, but less story and sometimes difficult to understand commands (hard to hear a conversation when I’m dodging hedgehog grenades) left me feeling like the tale lacked a bit of “umph.”

Other than those gripes, and a much shorter campaign mode (maybe eight hours), I absolutely loved Resistance 2.

The visuals are iffy at times and the difficulty occasionally hits the gas pedal out of nowhere, but otherwise the experience was quite enjoyable. The story was good enough to keep me guessing about what part three will hold and the action didn’t slow down too often. When the greys (think fast zombie aliens with no guns) start pouring over fences and out of buildings in massive droves, you’ll finish knowing you’ve just been in a fight.

While not the best shooter around, a nice collection of epic confrontations make for a memorable battle. Res 2 has some of the most intense moments I can remember in a FPS. Taken as a whole, though, not so much. Thankfully, the story mode is only part of the package, as competitive and co-op multiplayer each bring something new to the table.

Competitive (now sporting a massive 60-man roster) has all the standard events you’d expect in this type of game. You can capture flags and mindlessly blast random opponents to your heart’s content. The new skirmish mode, though, is where competitive truly shines. Divide 60 people into two teams, break that even further into groups of five, and give each group ever-changing objectives to tackle in one big map.

You can run off and play however you want, but more points are awarded to players who work as a team and complete their objectives. Two squads may wind up in a firefight, another two may battle for control of a power core and still another group may have to guard a single player while the other team tries to kill him. Rather than just running around and shooting everything that moves, skirmish feels closer akin to a co-op experience where all the bad guys are controlled by other players.

Finally, we get to the crowning jewel of Resistance 2, the co-op.

In co-op, eight players are thrust into various combat situations while exploring a massive map. Thanks to the class system, this isn’t just another run-and-gun experience. Medics drain life from bad guys and give health to teammates, soldiers provide massive firepower and can produce shields for everyone to hide behind, and special ops take out the enemy from long distance while serving as the sole source of ammo for their comrades. This forces teamwork and communication, and the end result is a lot of fun. Leveling up your various classes means new weapons and abilities, which in turn means more and more ways to play the game.

Resistance 2 is big, plain and simple. And this time, bigger does mean better. While the series does not quite carry the same weight as, say, Gears of War or Call of Duty, Resistance has managed to carve out its own high spot in the crowded genre and, thankfully, provides an experience that’s truly unique.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday mini-movies: Tuesday edition

We're a day behind, here. Sorry about that...On to the movie!

Since Wolverine is my favorite comic book character of all time, and after seeing the horrid X-Men 3, I decided I would give the new Wolverine movie a very slim chance to win me over.

Well, they've done it. For the most part (please ignore the final six seconds) this trailer looks to be doing Wolverine's origin story proud. I'm sure the bulk of the movie will involve the writer's "creative take" on Logan's past, but I can't really fault them for that.

In short, I'm now officially willing to give X-Men Origins: Wolverine a fair shot. Please, oh please, don't let me down.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Movie of the week: Wanted

I prefer to not recommend a movie in theaters and on DVD. I like the change it up a bit for the readers, ya know.

Unfortunately, this week doesn't really bring much in the line of happy-eye-candy, so Wanted gets its second recommendation on this blog.

On DVD, and of course Blu-ray, Wanted is a rock-em-sock-em ride full of violence, guns, spiffy special effects and the always lovely Angelina Jolie.

While bullets colliding midair was cool the first time you see it, it gets a little old at about bullet-block number 25. Other than that, if you're willing to have fun and just accept the craziness they're trying to sell you, you're in for a real treat.

With Batman coming out on DVD next week, you can expect another recommendation repeat.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Games to get in December

Christmas is nearly here and this post’s stocking is nowhere near stuffed. Looks like developers tried to cram all their top titles into the Oct-Nov window in order to be on the shelves for the ever-important holiday shopping season. Even the Wii and DS have slim pickings overall.

Just because the bounty isn’t exactly bountiful, though, doesn’t mean nothing good is coming out this December. Take a gander.

2nd- Prince of Persia (PS3, 360)
9th- Persona 4 (PS2)
9th- Sonic Unleashed (PS3, 360)
16th- Rise of the Argonauts (360, PS3)
22nd- Rock Band 2 (Wii, PS2)

Hold the phone! Two stand-out titles for the PS2? Though games have slowed to a trickle for the system, I’m still amazed to see the “last gen” PS2 doing so well against all the bells and whistles of new gen gaming.

Prince of Persia is already being unconditionally loved by the masses, so you can’t go wrong with that one. Persona 4, as well, is looking to be a AAA RPG for the PS2, IRL…ROFL?

However, my pick for possible surprise BA game of the year is going to Rise of the Argonauts. I’ve been following this one a while and, if everything comes together in the end, it could likely be one of those diamond in the rough titles that goes woefully under everybody’s radar.

So, what games are you guys and gals hoping to to see under the tree this Christmas?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Movies to miss in December

December is a tricky month. I had to be extra picky in order to even come up with a decent selection of movies to warn against.

Even more upsetting is the fact I'd actually like these titles (some of them, anyway) to be good. Here's hoping I'm wrong on a few counts.

Punisher: War Zone- I'm one of, I believe, seven people who actually enjoyed the most recent Punisher film. Not as edgy as the comic, but still, I liked the movie. While War Zone looks truer to the printed page roots, I can't help but feel this should have been a direct to DVD adventure. Hopefully the body count makes up for the crappy dialogue.

Yes Man- I'm guessing all the good parts were in the over-stuffed-one-liner trailer, and even those scenes weren't that funny. Dammit, Carrey. Sometimes your work is solid gold, and other times it's...well...Fun With Dick and Jane. Hopefully I'm misreading this one.

The Spirit- I really, really want this one to be fantastic, but there's a nagging in the back of my brain insisting there's no way The Spirit will be worth my $9 movie ticket. Le sigh.

Valkyrie- A period piece absolutely has to feel authentic. I'm not saying everyone needs to speak German, but at least get all the actors on the same damn page. Also, I don't hate Cruise like most of the world, but I just can't take him seriously while he's wearing that damn patch and talking like Maverick. No dice.

On DVD- And let's not forget the DVDs we should all be avoiding this holiday season. I'm looking at you Mamma Mia and Mummy 3.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday mini-movie: Pwnd snob edition

We're celebrating our 200th post here on and what better way to do that than watching an A-hole get his just desserts?

Okay, so I personally call shenanigans on the validity of this clip, but even if it is fake, I certainly wish it upon anyone this deserving.

You tell him, granny!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Short break for Turkey-related festivities

Hola gang.

Sorry about disappearing there for a little while. Things got real hectic what with the holidays and work and the side job as an ax fighter. Therefore, rather than half-ass my way through this week, we're just going to be taking a whee blogcation.

I know. I know. I will miss you just as much. But I'm sure you'll survive for a week.
staticEchoes should be back up and running semi-normal come Monday.

Until then, play some games, watch some movies and eat lots of turkey. Unless you're a vegetarian. In which case, you do realize this blog is 98-percent chicken, right?...Sinner.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Spike Video Game Awards 2008: Echo calls it

Spike have announced their nominations for the 2008 Video Game Awards and this year’s competition is as steep as everyone knew it would be.

Since I completely spaced on the latest UFC predictions (GF is still a sad panda about Couture losing), I figure I can give my predictions to this instead. There are 20-something categories in all, but I’m just going to cherry pick a few and give my thoughts. Here we go:

Game of the Year:
Fallout 3
Gears of War 2
Grand Theft Auto IV
Metal Gear Solid 4
Little Big Planet

Yowza. Maybe I should have started with an easier one. All of these games are deserving, but Little Big Planet gets my nod. I felt MGS4, for instance, was a better “game,” but LBP is one of those titles that could quite literally change the industry forever. Like the original Mario Bros., Final Fantasy VII and Halo, future gamers could likely divide games into two categories: those that came before LBP, and those that came after.

Best Multi-player:
Call of Duty- World at War
Gears of War 2
Left 4 Dead
Resistance 2
If there’s any justice in this world, the award will go to Left 4 Dead or Res 2. Not knocking the other two nominees, but Left and Resistance went well out of their way to bring something new to the multi-player table.

Best PS3 Game:
Little Big Planet
Metal Gear Solid 4
Resistance 2
It’s short and the online is flawed, but MGS4 got emotional reactions out of me several times. The story is great, the characters are amazing and the gameplay, though quick, is top shelf. I loved this damn game so, so much.

Best Wii Game:
Boom Blox
No More Heroes
Super Smash Brothers Brawl
Wii Fit

Wii Fit? I mean, really? Maybe a win from No More Heroes will turn more gamers onto one of the few quality titles the system has going for it.

Best 360 Game:
Fable 2
Gears of War 2
Fallout 3
Grand Theft Auto IV

Why is this even a category? Gears 2 is going to win. Just give em the thing. (Not griping. The time I’ve spent with the title was pleeeenty of fun.)

Best Graphics:
Fallout 3
Gears of War 2
Little Big Planet
Metal Gear Solid 4
This one is surprisingly tricky. Fallout won’t get it, but Gears 2 looked great. For those who actually pay attention, LBP’s graphics are also ridiculously good. The game that made me drop my jaw the most, though, is MGS4. Visually mind-blowing.

Best Handheld Game:
Castlevania- Order of Ecclesia
God of War: Chains of Olympus
Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Though Prof. Layton might provide a surprise upset (yay Level 5!), God of War on the PSP made me question the limitations of portable gaming. When you can cram all the action, story, sound, graphics and gameplay of a console game into the palm of your hands, you’ve managed to impress me.

Well, that’s it for my predictions. To see the full list of nominees and make some guesses of your own, visit and remember to watch the show’s airing on Dec. 14.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday mini-movie: Lucky couple edition

The stupidity of some people amazes me.

You know what I love? Living...Yep. I love living. Aside from maybe skydiving or eating at a Fatso Burger in Las Vegas again, I don't really plan on doing anything that will needlessly put the continuation of said living at risk. Especially not on my morning commute. Especially not when it's me vs. a friggin train.

After covering a rodeo last week, I decided to check youtube for any amazing moments in every one's favorite crazy-person sport. (Speaking of needlessly putting your life at risk.) Turns out, not a lot of folks have posted entertaining rodeo footage.

Look for "extremely lucky people," though, and you're likely to stumble across these two brainiacs doing the death tango with a steaming locomotive.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Movie of the week: Quantum of Solace

Three cheers for emo-Bond!

Call me crazy, but I’ve never really been a huge James Bond fan. Usually a sucker for wildly imaginative characters, crazy gadgets, explosions and martinis, something about the series never quite sat right with me.

Enter 2007’s Casino Royale. Suddenly, I’m a fan.
While still keeping many of the 007 themes intact, Casino managed to present the character in a more realistic setting and somehow made a believer out of me. Perhaps it was the compelling story, top performances or high-flying action. Perhaps it was my love of poker. Who can say?

Daniel Craig is perfect in the lead role and, with this week’s Quantum of Solace serving as the first direct sequel in the series’ history, I’m looking forward to a second helping of everything that made Casino so enjoyable.

If that was somehow too vague for ya, the movie of the week is 007: Quantum of Solace. Five points to anyone who can tell me what the crap a quantum of solace even is…Not sure, but I think I could have ordered one off a late-night infomercial.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

staticEchoes turns one!

Holy crap, has officially made it past the one year mark.

It's our first birthday. Hooray!

I'm experiencing something of a mixed emotion right now. Part of me feels like the past twelve months have absolutely flown by while the other part of me can't believe it's only been a year since I started posting these random little articles about music, movies, games and more.

To all those who have made dropping by a daily routine, I thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart. I know there are several of you out there (thanks!), so again, thanks for giving me a reason to keep doing this.

To anyone who logs on every now and again, or are perhaps reading this for the very first time, thank you so much as well. You all are why I do this, so thanks for all the support.

Well, that's it for the gushing. Time to get out that next post. Hopefully I'll see you all back here this time next November as we celebrate year number two!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eagles of Death Metal- Heart On

I was sitting in a pub a couple weeks ago...Okay, so it wasn't really a pub. It was more like an eclecto-bar. There were about five motifs going on, P.O.D. was pumping through the speakers, the waitress was a bit too friendly and creepy, the food was pretty bad and, for a bar this size, they only had like six beers on tap. But I digress.

Anyway, there I was, minding my own business in this bar-pub, trying to flag down our waitress when Pepper (I never call her by the same name twice on this blog due to pending legal issues) slides a burned CD across the table and says, "Echo;" she calls me Echo in real life; "Echo, if you don't review this CD on your blog, I'm going to cut you."

Turns out I was being given a copy of Eagles of Death Metal's latest album "Heart on."

Being a burned CD, I have no idea what the names of the songs are nor do I wish to look them up. Yes, I'm being that lazy. Instead, I'll just give you a few broad statements concerning the album and let you head on over to Peppered Thought to get a more detailed review from the lady herself. I know what you're thinking: If she was going to review it herself, why threaten Echo with bodily harm if he didn't do likewise? This is a gal who fights the air, people. The. Air. It's best not to ask questions...

Moving on.

As for me, I quite liked the sound. In this age of over-produced, remixed, refined, re-refined and re-re-refined music, it's nice to hear something that genuinely sounds like a couple guys got together in a studio and recorded each song in a single take. This hollow, raw sound is present on each track, giving the listener a more intimate experience.

Something between the Rolling Stones and the Doobie Brothers, Eagles of Death Metal nail the classic rock sound with nods to genre greats while still managing to come off sounding mostly original. Can a relatively new group be called classic rock? Discuss that amongst yourselves.

Anyway, pop "Heart On" in the car CD player (where my copy has been for nearly two weeks now), roll down the windows and get ready to feel like your cruising through the 70s. This is, of course, a good thing. Eagles of Death Metal make the old sound new again and, cruising through an ocean full of so many nearly identical rockfish, it's refreshing to sink a hook into something different every now and again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Movies to miss in November

I’m feeling like a bit of a scrooge this week.
Going over the November movie list, I could only come up with three flicks that made me want to run and hide. Coincidentally, they are all Christmas movies.

This is not to say I am a humbug. I prefer to look at it as nobody knows how to make a decent Christmas movie anymore.

I say go with the classics-A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Vacation- and avoid anything new with Fa-la-la-la-laing in it.

Fred Claus: This came out one year ago in theaters, bombed, and is now on DVD. I love Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti, but come on guys. This is what happens when a good idea goes bad.

Shrek the Halls: *cough*sellout*cough* Shrek was awesome. The sequel was pretty decent. The third was god-awful. Let’s just say my expectations are pretty low for a Christmas romp with everyone’s favorite ogre.

Four Christmases: Vince Vaughn, what the hell are you doing? A terrible Christmas movie two years in a row? Was this because of a dare? You’re destroying my love for you, buddy-boy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday mini-movie: Badgers edition

I jumped into the way-back machine for this week's video. I'm sure, by now, you've all heard and/or seen the Badgers song. Even so, I felt like honoring the clip with mention here on Monday mini-movies.

"Why?" you may ask. Because the song has an addictive set of lyrics in it that makes you sing it fortnightly, smaaartaaass. (Extra points for those who can tell me what movie that was from.)

Here I was, minding my own business, when all of a sudden I had the damn song stuck in my head. It's been that way for the past four or so years, man. I can't make the badgers stop.

Any video with that sort of staying power deserves our attention. Whether you're watching for the first time or the one-millionth; enjoy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Movie of the week: Role Models

It’s been a few weeks since I got out to the movies, but last weekend I got to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Expect the review soon.

As for this week, there’s not a whole lot coming out in theaters or on store shelves to get me too excited.
Role Models, however, looks pretty funny. I just checked in on the early ratings and, so far, has it at a rather respectable 70-something score.

Don’t go in expecting Apatow and you should be just fine.

Speaking of Judd Apatow, what’s the deal with this guy and comedies as of late? Sure, I’m guilty of this crime as of one paragraph ago, but why can’t folks go out and see a comedy these days without the obligatory Apatow comparison?

The guy makes great, funny movies, but seriously, his brand of comedy isn’t necessarily what I want to see all the time.

Why am I ranting about this? To draw out the post a little bit, that’s why. I figured I’d give you wonderful readers a little more bang for your buck today. I’m feeling generous, I suppose.

So, yeah, where was I?

Oh yeah! Go see Role Models…Or don’t. Word is, it’s no Apatow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Games to get in November

Christmas is just around the corner and, well, that means 99.9 percent of the best videogames are coming out here in the last few months leading up to 2009.

November is looking a lot like October in that there is no way humanly possible to take in all this goodness in the next 30 days. Luckily, you’ve got almost another full year before the next unnecessary flood hits, so work at your own pace.

4th- Resistance 2 (PS3)
4th- Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)
7th- Gears of War 2 (360)
11th- Call of Duty: World at War (Everything)
11th- Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars (Wii)
11th- Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (Wii)
11th- Red Alert 3 (360)
11th- Mirror’s Edge (PS3, 360)
16th- Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)
16th- Shaun White Snowboarding (All systems)
17th- Left 4 Dead (360)
18th- Castlevania: Judgment (Wii)
18th- Tomb Raider: Underworld (Every system, ever)
18th- Luminous Arc 2 (DS)
18th- Metal Slug 7 (DS)
18th- Rune Factory 2 (DS)
20th- Last Remnant (360)

Great googa-mooga, I’m spent. Your tastes may differ from mine, but these were my picks for games likely to be worth your money.

Wii surprises with a few titles that look decently entertaining. Way to go N! You gave gamers something to be excited about after only (counts on fingers) six months since your last good game.

It’s no secret Resistance and Gears are the big titles for most folks out there, but with games like Valkyria Chronicles, Call of Duty, Last Remnant and Left 4 Dead hitting shelves this month, the decision on what to buy could become a pretty difficult one.
If nothing else, you’ve got one heck of a Christmas list already started for you. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nothing "little" about it: Little Big Planet review

Shameless plug: My PSN is eternalecho and the first level I created is called "The wall." Go play it!

I’ve only had Little Big Planet a week, but I’ve sunk 20 or so hours into it already. Having experienced the full spectrum of the title's Share, Play and Create features, I figure it’s time to give my review.

For me, almost everything about LBP is pure, unadulterated fun. The characters are adorable and extremely customizable, the worlds are charming and often astonishing and the soundtrack is catchy. Controls and navigating the game's three levels of depth takes some getting used to, but a little practice solved that problem for me.

At its core, LBP is a platformer. Aside from a few body movements, Sackboys can run, jump and grab onto stuff. That’s it.

Thanks to this simplicity, LBP works well as a pick-up-and-play title for those who are new to gaming. However, with the inclusion of more than 500 pick-ups and some surprisingly deep play mechanics built into many levels, LBP also offers a nice amount of challenge for the seasoned vets. Online or off, alone or with friends, the act of playing the game is a lot of fun.

When it comes to creating, it’s boggling how much players can do. Everything you see in the game was built with the ginormous number of tools at your disposal and figuring out how to use most of them proved quite easy. Plenty of initial mess-ups and obscenities, but after I got the hang of it, building levels became a joy. I think I may even be more addicted to building than playing at this point.

That’s probably the best thing LBP has going for it: imagination. If you want something, just figure out a way to build it. The sky is very nearly the limit.

Even better, once it’s been built, sharing is a snap. You simply post your level online and let the masses have at it. For those who prefer to stick to the running and jumping, this means the amount of new levels (coming out daily, mind you) are infinite. Sure, some player-created content is pretty bad. But the point is that it’s getting people to think, be creative and take part in a sort of community revolving around the game.

Of course, there are also a few missteps with the title. Online is still getting a few kinks worked out, but I’ve played almost problem-free for the past five days of my first week.
While the level select screen is cute (patches stuck all over the world representing player-built levels), the organization leaves much to be desired. I’d give anything for a simple list with various search criteria.

While building, several of the icons are too small to tell what they are. Not a problem if your inventory is small, but it can become a hassle once you start collecting several hundred random bits and pieces.

Finally, LBP uses a keyboard like that of the old PS3 firmware. You know; the cell phone style? I HATE this in a videogame. It makes typing a chore and I don’t understand why a proper board was not included.

Well, look at me going off on a rant yet again. Like I said with my Dead Space review, I only do this when I really, really like a game.

LBP is astounding. Period. The replay value is endless and what comes already on the disc is well worth the 60 bucks. I highly recommend you pick it up.

If you’re online, please be sure to give “The wall” a try.

Don't forget to vote!

Consider this your friendly reminder.

I'm not going to go on some tirade about how important it is to vote or anything like that. But here's the way I look at it--If you are old enough to vote and don't, you have no right to complain about anything political you had the opportunity to vote on. Ever...Ever-ever.

So, yeah. Go do it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday mini-movie: Heli-buzz edition

It's amazing what you find on the internet. Take this week's mini-movie, for instance.

I began my search with something like "hilarious accident" and eventually stumbled upon "guy nearly gets decapitated." Neat, right?

I can't imagine how the guy in the video must have felt when all was said and done. I would have probably cried for a solid week afterwards. Unrestrained, heaving sobs. Non-stop. One week.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Movie(s) of the week: Zack and Miri, Changeling, Rock N Rolla

Wowie-wow-wow. There are actually a few movies coming out this week I wouldn’t mind watching. Even better, the biggest draw is each film’s director.

Clint Eastwood offers up Changeling; a film about a woman who, after her kidnapped son gets returned by the police, insists the “rescued” boy is not her own flesh and blood. After Million Dollar Baby, I’m willing to give anything Dirty Harry has to offer a watch…Unless he directs, I don’t know, Monkey Poo Fights. I probably wouldn’t watch that. Then again, I might.

Next up is Guy Ritchie’s Rock N Rolla. I’m a fan of just about anything the guy touches, and Rock N Rolla looks to provide all the fast talking, action-packed, British mob drama I’ve come to expect and love.

Finally, Kevin Smith makes his triumphant return with Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I can only think of one film Smith has done outside the View Askewniverse, so I’m looking forward to something new and, hopefully, hilarious.

I’m not going to narrow it down to one this week. You’ve got three choices there that should prove worth the money. This kind of movie-going bounty doesn’t come around too often, so get out there and enjoy some cinema.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Last-minute Halloween costume ideas

With Halloween only a few days away, I figure there may be some folks out there who still don’t know what costume to wear.

For you procrastinators, I put together a few ideas for last-minute costumes you should be able to pull off on the cheap. Bonus points to anyone who uses one of these ideas and sends in a picture.

P-whipped: This one is for the couples. The girlfriend wears an old T-shirt with a giant “P” written across the chest and back while the boyfriend carries a whip around. Simple, effective, and it speaks volumes about the dynamics of your relationship.

Harry Potter: Step one- Put on old gorilla costume. Step two- grab a couple pots from your local gardening store. Step three- Insist to everyone you meet this costume was a clever idea.

Black-eyed pea: Borrow that “P” shirt from your girlfriend and use some mascara, or a fist to the face, to give yourself a black eye.

A baked potato: Wrap yourself in aluminum foil. This costume also works well if you want to dress up as a tooth filling or a crazy person.

Poop: Brown sweatpants, sweatshirt and beanie. The end. Get it!

Murder victim: Don a white t-shirt and cover yourself in ketchup.

Murderer: Same as above, only you get to carry a knife!

Dinosaur: Dress like normal. When people ask you what your costume is supposed to be, tell them you are a dinosaur. When they say, “You don’t look like a dinosaur,” yell “That’s because we’re extinct, you jerk!”

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bloody good: Dead Space review

Wanting to get in some survival horror gaming during the Halloween season, it came down to a toss-up between Silent Hill: Homecoming and Dead Space. I ultimately ended up going with EA’s new IP, and I’m very, very glad I did. Silent Hill may turn out to be a great game, but boy-howdy did I have a great time with Dead Space. Apologies in advance for the wall of text, but it takes a special game to draw this much out of me. And Dead Space is exactly that.

Opting to rent (a sad sacrifice thanks to too many good games coming out all at once), I spent five days and nights plowing through the USG Ishimura, a doomed deep-space mining ship infested with horribly mutated dead former crew members.

The controls of Dead Space are tight and the presentation is slick and sexy. Menus are displayed on a badass hologram projected from a contraption on your wrist, meaning you never actually leave the environment. Also, with information like life, stasis power (the ability to slow down fast moving enemies) and ammo displayed right on your suit and weapons, there is absolutely no HUD to take away from the scenery.

Speaking of the scenery, this is an absolutely beautiful game. I found myself often rotating the camera and standing still just to admire some of the gorgeous (or grotesque) goings-on.

Load times are surprisingly minimal. There’s a minute pause between each chapter, but otherwise the breaks are miniscule. Opening a door takes a moment (a hologram pops up telling you the door is opening and then it slides up), creatively disguising loads as two-second workings of the ship itself. When you’re in a chapter, you’re never taken out of the action.

Along with looking great, Dead Space also sounds amazing. The developers did an ace job of mixing all the right noises to make the dark, hollow vessel scare the crap out of you without even throwing a monster your way. Coupled with dynamic lighting and plenty of dark corners, the Ishimura becomes as much a character as it is a world to explore.

As for the baddies, Dead Space has a terrific cast. While there aren’t too many types (maybe 10 altogether), what’s there is varied enough to work just fine. All have their own behavior, attack patterns and weak points, so you have to think while you fight. Blasting round after round into the masses wastes ammo, which is a bad idea with so little on hand to begin with. These truly grotesque creations have to be tactically dismembered and certain weapons work best on certain creatures. And yes, the dismemberment is frantic, fun and unsettlingly satisfying.

Speaking of weapons, a few were a real delight to wield. The line shooter and plasma cutter are great; shooting lines of energy perfect for clipping off just the right limb. The flamethrower has the best fire effects I’ve ever seen and the Ripper, which throws a spinning saw blade about four feet in front of you, is absolutely diabolical. You have to get close to use it well, but it’s easily one of my favorite in-game weapons of all time. All weapons have an alt-fire, which makes for a decently varied arsenal.

With a couple mini-games, zero gravity sections and puzzles thrown in to change up the pace, as well as a deep suit/weapon upgrade system to work on, Dead Space offers plenty more than just running around and killing monsters.

The creators clearly know and love their genre and do a marvelous job of keeping the player on the edge of their seat. Audio cues, misdirection, pop-out-and-scream moments and even a few psychological jabs makes Dead Space on of the scariest games to date.

There are a few problems, of course. The story is cliché and the characters are mostly cardboard. Also, there were a couple instances where the balance between survival and “is this even possible” tilts a bit too far in favor of frustration. Then there’s the fact almost every mission is a glorified fetch quest. Thankfully, everything else about Dead space is so good, these flaws are easily overlooked.

The amount of love and polish pumped into Dead Space is refreshing and, quite simply, it’s some of the most fun a third-person shooter fan can have. While the story lasts between 12 and 15 hours, four difficulty settings, trophies/achievements that may require more than one play-through and upgrades that can’t be done in a single go make for plenty of replay value.

I returned Dead Space after my five-day rental and felt like a kid giving away one of his favorite new toys. Once this holiday rush is over and I have the chance (and extra money) to fill a few more hours with time aboard the Ishimura, I totally plan to pay the full price for a second voyage. It’s worth every penny.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday mini-movie: Squirrel vs. Deer edition

That. Just. Happened.

Not the best video quality, but MAN is it awesome. I have a new hero, and his name is Simon the Squirrel.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go watch Simon unleash a deer face-wrecking another dozen or so times.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Movie of the week: Monster Squad

Okay, here's the deal. There is nothing new coming out this week I feel like recommending.

In theaters we have Saw V (please, let it stop), High School Musical 3 (is this even legal?) and Pride and Glory. Well, that last one might be worth a watch, but really, who wants to see a cop drama one week before Halloween? Yeah, me either.

So then we go to rental and purchase. While The Incredible Hulk was pretty dang good, I don't feel like recommending it again. If you didn't see it in theaters, you know what to do. Then there's The Strangers, which looks like a pretty good thriller, but there's a certain I-don't-know-what keeping me from giving a crap.

Therefore, it is with great pleasure I give you this week's retro-recommendation: Monster Squad. I was addicted to this film growing up. I loved monster movies back then as much as I do now, and seeing a bunch of kids my own age take on Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the creature from the Black Lagoon (who loves Twinkies, btw), Wolfman, the Mummy and a few vampire vixens was like watching my greatest fantasy come true. To this day I still dream about it...Oh, how I dream.

So if you somehow missed this one in the past, I don't know, 20 years, go rent or buy it immediately and keep that Halloween spirit alive.

P.S. Wolfman's got nards...Just sayin'.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

UFC 90: Silva vs. Cote

For those readers into mixed martial arts, UFC more specifically, you’ll have to let me know how this weekend’s fights go. I will most likely be unable to watch until a repeat is shown.

Call me crazy, but I’m not too excited for this Saturday’s bouts. There are a lot of young faces on the card, which is good for those wanting to see how the future of the sport is shaping up, but I just can’t get too worked up for these fights.

Don’t get me wrong. Silva, Cote, Koscheck, Alves, Clementi, Werdum and Sherk are all fighters I would usually jump at the chance to watch, but I don’t…Who am I kidding? This should be a pretty dang good night. I’m just pretending otherwise so I don’t get all pouty about missing it. Nobody likes a pouty blogger.

Maybe I should write an emo song about this.

Anyway, it seems like the few events I have to miss are the ones that end up being some of the best, so if that’s the case, you’re welcome in advance.

Here’s the card:
Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote
Josh Koscheck vs. Thiago Alves
Rich Clementi vs. Gray Maynard
Fabricia Werdum vs. Junior Dos Santos
Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin
Thales Leites vs. Drew McFedries
Spencer Fisher vs. Shannon Gugerty
Dan Miller vs. Matt Horwich
Hermes Franca vs. Marcus Aurelio
Josh Burkman vs. Pete Sell

P.S. For those who somehow haven’t heard, Elite XC is no more. I think a bit of competition is good in any industry, so this announcement comes as a real bummer to me. I’m mostly worried for the fighters, though, since there’s not a heck of a lot of options out there for them to be seen and paid well for stepping into the cage. Mostly, though, I’m sad about any news that puts a smile on the face of Dana White.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween movie marathon

The big night is still a week away, so there's plenty of time to get in the Halloween spirit. (Ghost...Spirit...Man, I'm funny.)

Anyway, The Jeff asked me for some scary movie recommendations last week and I started making a list. Looking back over said list, I realized many of the films I was recommending weren't what you would call mainstream horror flicks.

Though they aren't exactly the low budget, low key romps the genre is famous for, these may very well have flown under your radar. I highly suggest you watch 'em all.

Bubba Ho-Tep: Bruce Campbell plays Elvis, in a retirement home, fighting a 10,000 year old mummy. If you consider yourself a camp fan, I really don't need to say anymore.

Undead: Oh man, was this a fun zombie flick. Imagine a hillbilly in the Australian outback fighting zombies created by aliens in a style often reminiscent of The Matrix. Oh, and there's zombie trout. Do I have your attention yet?

Ginger Snaps: Who says Canada hasn't given the world anything? No, hokey does not count. What does count, though, is this wonderful coming-of-age story about hormones and horror with the transformation into a werewolf serving as a surprisingly thoughtful, completely brilliant vehicle.

The Descent: Easily one of my favorite horror movies of the past ten years. The Descent is paced brilliantly and provides plenty of real scares. Yes, monsters and blood eventually show up, and boy is it gritty, but The Descent does a fine job of scaring you (as well as making you claustrophobic) without the need of an ax-wielding maniac.

The Mist: From the guy who gave us The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, two of the best Stephen King translations, comes a surprising new project revolving around one of King's less known short stories. This is actually a pretty B.A. monster movie with lots of heart, even if it does fall a bit shy of greatness by the time the credits roll.

Event Horizon: Back when I was a kid, I used to walk to the local theater and watch a double feature no matter what was showing. This led to me seeing Titanic 12 times...Yeah. Anyway, this also led to Event Horizon scaring the crap out of me. Going in, I had no idea what the movie was about (a salvage crew locates a missing spaceship that slipped into a black hole leading to hell and managed to bring a bit of hell back with it). Lots of disturbing, scary stuff here.

High Tension: Now THIS is what camp is all about. Very little build up, plot holes galore and buckets of blood. Not pretending to be anything it's not, High Tension begins with a knock at the door and then people start dying. Period. Happily, High Tension lives up to its name and becomes one of my favorite horror films of all time.

The Host: More heart than horror, The Host is a Korean flick wherein a family is drawn together then torn apart by the horrific appearance of a large, unidentified monster. While the creature isn't a huge part of the film, that doesn't mean a few scares aren't in store. More than a monster movie, The Host is a genuinely good film in general.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Games to get your blood flowing

With only a couple weeks left until Halloween, I'm sure some folks out there might like to do a little prep work before the big night. To that end, I offer up two videogames guaranteed to push your nerves to the limit. Both are available for the PS3 and 360 riiiiight now.

Silent Hill: Homecoming
Silent Hill, originally expected to be a Resident Evil clone, debuted on the Playstation One and quickly put all preconceived notions to rest. Heavy on atmosphere, Silent Hill was less about well-trained police mowing down zombies and more about Joe Average just struggling to survive in a world that seems like it's been ripped straight from hell. Homecoming, the series' fifth console installment, follows a soldier on leave in search of his brother who has gone missing in, you guessed it, Silent Hill.

While the main character is more adept at combat, what with his military training and all, Homecoming promises to stay true to the seris' roots, keeping the horrifying atmosphere thick with fog, a stellar soundtrack and plenty of deranged nasties to ruin your weekend.

While I'm excited to take my next blood-soaked romp through every one's favorite possessed town, I'm even more excited to try my shaking hands at...

Dead Space
So maybe survival horror in space isn't exactly the most original concept, but never has it looked so inviting on the console front.

A new franchise, Dead Space revolves around a ship mechanic who discovers his latest assignment just so happens to be a ship infested with gruesome necromorphs; horribly twisted human bodies reanimated from the dead.

With an arsenal of makeshift weapons at your disposal and advantages to knowing which part of a monster to slice off--not to mention sections entirely in zero gravity--Dead Space looks to supply plenty of frights in what could be the next big series in this slim-pickings genre.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday mini-movies: Knock Knock edition

Consider me late to the party, once again. Apparently this video has been out, making people laugh, for quite some time.

Anyway, if you're like me and somehow missed it, enjoy.

The comedy here is pretty dark, which is exactly how I like it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Movie of the week: Quarantine

In case you folks hadn't noticed, it's almost Halloween. Woohoo!

Nothing better to get you in the holiday spirit than a crap-your-pants horror flick that looks like it (what's that?) might actually be pretty dang good.

Quarantine is a remake, so I can't exactly call it original. However, with titles like Saw V hitting the screen in a couple weeks, this is the closest thing you'll get to a breath of fresh, albeit blood-soaked, air in October.

One part 28 Days Later, one part Blaire Witch, Quarantine revolves around an apartment building that gets closed off to the outside world when one of its residents contracts a nasty virus.

News outlets claim there is nobody left in the building, but a "videotape" recovered after many, many horrible events paints a different picture. Not only was a reporter, her cameraman, and several other residents still inside, but they just so happened to be locked in with an infected, blood-thirsty madwoman with a mean streak a mile long.

I'm not exactly expecting poetry here. So long as the frights are plenty and everything surrounding them is bearable (cast, know, the small stuff), I'm thinking Quarantine might be the Halloween movie of choice this year.

Sorry about the recent lack of copious updates, by the way, things have been crazy. Please accept this digital cookie *hands you digital cookie...digitally* as an apology.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wii shovelware- I've had just about enough

I remember when the Wii came out nearly two years ago. I remember because I was the first guy in line at the local Wal-Mart (local, as in 30 minutes away from my home) waiting to pick one up on day one.
I also remember thinking, quite foolishly it turns out, there's no way in hell this new system would become another Gamecube.

Turns out I was wrong. What bothered me about the Gamecube was the fact quality, well produced games, were anything but the norm. For every one good game that came out for the system, there were five crappy ones rushed out to market in order to cash in on moms and dads who had no idea "Rocket Bikez eXtreme" took only three weeks to make.

When Wii hit with Zelda on day one and titles like Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart and Smash Bros. on the way, I thought the future of the new waggle system was pretty dang bright. If the GC ratio of good to bad games was 1 to 5, however, the Wii is more like 1 to 20. Sadly, I'm not exaggerating here.

This month alone will bear witness to the release of titles such as Bratz, Littlest Pet Shop, Jeep Thrills, Safe Cracker, Celebrity Sports Showdown, Barbie Horse Adventure, Bigfoot: Collision Course, Build-a-Bear Workshop and Petz Horsez Club, just to name a few. There are about 40 titles releasing this month for the Wii and, if you'll scroll down a post or two, you'll see none of them made my "games to get" list. I may not be the best judge of quality, but if you'll head on over to this web site right here (IGN), I'm sure you'll agree there is little to nothing worth paying attention to from the Wii camp. Keep scrolling past October. It gets worse.

Now, don't get me wrong. I realize there is a market for some of these games, but what about the videogaming masses above the age of eight? When Nintendo removed their "Official Seal of Quality" and replaced it with, no joke, "Official Seal," what they effectively did was say, "Hey, gamers, there will be no quality control whatsoever. Enjoy the metric ton of poorly made ripoffs that will soon be choking store shelves and muscling out the chances of anything worth your time and money ever surviving."

What's the point of all of this? Nothing. I've just been needing to rant about this for a while and today just felt like the day. Sure, at $250, the Wii is almost an impulse buy for folks wanting to play some games. And yes, most of the games made by Nintendo are actually pretty dang good. But with less of those coming out in a year than I need two hands to count, it's a bit insulting.

Then again, I guess we can blame the consumer as well. It's our dollars that make this shovelware practice profitable and, when developers are willing to put time and attention into quality titles (Zak and Wiki, No More Heroes, Boom Blox), we turn a blind eye and collectively ignore it. Developers are officially afraid to take chances on the Wii.

I've got no answers here. I'm fairly certain the Wii and its games will continue to sell like gangbusters (except for the good games, that is) and, eventually, Nintendo will introduce their next big system with loads of promises that eventually gets lost among the waves of cash we're willing to throw at them for the waves of crap they're willing to throw back at us.

If it wasn't for the few gems I already own and the virtual console, I would consider the Wii a horrible (though horribly profitable) failure. As it is, I've impulsively paid $250 for a handfull of games and 20-year-old titels that far outshine anything lining the Wii shelves today. Thanks Nintendo!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday mini-movie: Lost girlfriend edition

Don't blink or you'll miss this one. It's short, but that means you can view it over and over and only kill like a minute.

The above clip is tagged as being the quickest way to dump your girlfriend. Get it!?

Anyway, I was feeling lazy this week and didn't put too much time into my video search, so this is what you get. It is pretty awesome though. I even gave an audible "NOooOOoooOooo!" while watching it the first time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Movie of the week: Appaloosa

Man, that is a great movie poster. I mean, just look at that thing.

Anyway, I'm a sucker for a good western and I'm hoping Appaloosa is exactly that. The cast is great, so that's a start, right?

Anyway, I know most folks aren't exactly into this kind of film, so might I recommend Iron Man on DVD or Blu-Ray instead? What's that you say? You are one of the five-kabillion people who have already seen it? Twice? Wow...Then, um...Maybe you'll enjoy Blindness, a close runner-up in theaters, instead?

Movies to miss in October

There aren't a heck of a lot of movies I'm terrified of this Halloween season. By terrified, I mean of the fact they actually exist, not that they are in any way scary...Though I'm sure some of them are pretty scary on one level or another. But I digress. On to this month's list of films to ignore with all your heart.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua: I don't care who is in it, what early reviews say, or nothin'. Thanks to that horrible title, I can't get the image of Paris Hilton and her buggy-eyed, shivering, four-legged accessory out of my head. You go to hell, Beverly Hills Chihuahua. You go to hell and you stay there.

How to Lose Your Friends and Alienate People: I love you, Simon Pegg, but I can't forgive this. I'm happy you've found popularity in the States, but don't let that confuse you into signing on to crappy American-made comedies. You're way above that, broseph.

W.: I'm preparing to forget the guy, so why should I watch a movie ABOUT him? Honestly, Georgie-boy has not earned a movie, even if it is unflattering.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year: I'm all for singing and dancing in a family-friendly setting with wholesome messages and all that jazz. But when you start overmilking that cow, I gots me a problem. Stop this madness. Oh, and I totally just realised a better joke picture would have been "High School Musical 3: Senior Years," but I'm too lazy to change it. Sorry.

Saw 5: It stopped being good four movies ago.

Oh, and don't forget, the horrible Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comes out on video this month as well. For followers of the blog, I apologise for not catching that one on the crap-o-meter back when it was in theaters. Man, was it terrible.

Games to get in October

Anybody else experiencing a little deja vu from last year?

After yet another summer drought, the gaming gods that be have decided to unleash upon the masses another flood of epic proportions. Hope you don't like your money, cause after October and November, it's gone, baby, gone.

7th- NBA Live 09 (PS3, 360)
7th- NBA 2K9 (360, PS3)
7th- Fracture (PS3, 360)
14th- Fifa 09 (PS3, 360)
14th- Saint's Row 2 (360, PS3)
14th- Dead Space (360, PS3)
14th- Socom: Confrontation (PS3)
21st- Bioshock (PS3)
21st- Eternal Sonata (PS3)
21st- Little Big Planet (PS3)
21st- Fable 2 (360)
21st- Far Cry 2 (360, PS3)
21st- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS)
21st- Rune Factory 2 (DS)
28th- Fallout (PS3, 360)
28th- Motor Storm: Pacific Rift (PS3)

Would you just look at that list! I have a feeling this is actually really bad news for developers when it comes to sales in the U.S. Everyone else is doing dandy, but the economy over here is shite right now. More so than ever, I imagine videogame purchases will be on the decline.

Unlike in the past, when folks might buy a title or three in any given game-overflow month, it's likely your average Joe, or Susan, will have to look at this list and pick a single title, if that.

There's a lot of great, great looking games there, but my pick for this month is going to Little Big Planet. I think it's a safe bet that particular title will not only sweep "game of the year" awards from every publication, web site, etc., but it's very likely to serve as one of those defining moments in the history of our favorite hobby.

Anyway, goodbye cashflow and free time, hello debt and several weeks of poor hygiene.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday mini-movie: Porkchop Sandwhiches edition

While attending a friend's Rock Band 2-a-thon, I was introduced to this little gem of a video and spent the next half hour laughing my butt off.

Remember the old cartoon version of G.I. Joe? Remember the PSAs at the end of each episode? Well, some brilliant bastard dubbed over them. Most don't make sense, but most are pretty dang hilarious, so it evens out.

Head on over to and search for "G.I. Joe PSA" to get in on all the fun.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Movie of the week: The Fall

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I'm betting a two minute moving picture is worth, like, at least a billion-kazillion words.

Completely unimpressed with this week's silver screen and purchasable offerings, I decided to recommend a Movie of the Week that I accidentally overlooked last week: The Fall.

Rather than try to tell you about it, just check out the trailer and let the magic of this film do all the talking for me.

Looks great, right? Then go rent/buy it and enjoy.

Holy $#!T, it's Mega Man 9

First off, can we get a hand for that epically terrible box art for the Nintendo classic Mega Man I over there?

There's just far too much wrong with that picture to go over here. Look for it's triumphant return in a future post it has inspired: Worst videogame box art ever.

Now, on to the topic at hand: Mega Man M-er Ef-ing Nine!

I don't know about you guys, but I can easily recall blowing far too many of my childhood hours into Mega Mans one through eight in an effort to put an end to Dr. Wily and his, um, wily antics. Now, thanks to the fine folks at Capcom, I can do the exact same thing with my adult hours as well. Fantastic!

Seriously though, whoever came up with the idea of continuing this series with a return to its 8-bit visuals and *bling-bop-boowip* sound deserves a kiss on the mouth.

Not only is the younger generation of gamers getting a taste of the good old days, but old school players are weeping glorious tears of remembrance for simpler times when HD graphics and 60fps meant nothing (partially because nobody whould have known what any of that meant) compared to the simple joys of ridiculously hard levels and a little thing called "creativity."

Anyway, Mega Man 9 is available for the Wii, 360 and PS3, and it's only ten bucks. I highly recommend you support this project and fully embrace the Blue Bomber goodness.

Laugh while watching: Burn After Reading review

Wow. After last year's dramatic, dark and gritty Coen treat No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading is certainly a change of pace for the legendary brotherly directing duo.

More akin to Raising Arizona, Burn follows several interconnecting plots wherein folks are cheating on everyone with everyone and a couple-a numskulls discover a memoir from a former CIA agent they mistake for "extremely sensitive shit" they might be able to get a reward for returning (read: blackmail).

The plot gets a bit confusing, but that's actually kind of the point. Everybody is convinced of how cool and in control they are only to find out they are anything but. In the end, nobody knows what the hell is going on.

While I laughed my ass off while watching the film and will certainly add it to my DVD collection, the best way I could describe Burn After Reading is "forgettable."

There's terrific performances, amazing dialogue and plenty to enjoy, but in the end you'll leave the theater with one thing on your mind: "Um...Okay. What's for dinner?"

While Burn proves a worthy addition to the Coen library, it is also one of their most unnecessary additions.

Fun and darkly hilarious, but that's about it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Heroes: Season Three begins

Consider this your friendly reminder to tune in for the two-hour season premiere of Heroes tonight on Fox. Check your local listings, yadda-yadda-yadda.

I was a fan of season one, but season two lacked focus and clarity. Add to that a shortened run thanks to the writer's strike and a garbled ending and you had a pretty poop follow-up to a rather entertaining new show.

So, don't go in with hopes set too high, boys and girls, and we should be in for a fun ride.

Here's hoping the crew still has access to some of that magic that made Heroes so compelling and enjoyable in the first place.

Monday mini-movie: Slap edition

Holy crap, did you just see that?! This video answers the age old question of "what did the five fingers say to the face."

As best as I can translate the situation, the host of some Indian dating show told a contestant his face looked perfect for wrecking. The contestant, possibly drunk, told her "Why don't you come over here and say that to my face?"

When the host opted to SHOW rather than TELL, the contestant made the crucial mistake of returning the favor. Shortly after, the whole of India came to the host's rescue and put a royal beatdown on the guy.

See, fellas, you should never hit a girl...Otherwise an entire country will kick the crap out of you on public television.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Movie of the week- Lakeview Terrace

Sadly, I don't have much time to commit to this post. I'm about to head into the wilderness to become one (biblically) with nature.

If I get eated by bears, I apologize in advance for a lack of future posts.

Looking over this week's DVDs and silver screen offerings, I don't really want to recommend anything. Then again, the thought of seeing Samuel L. Mother-effing-Jackson play a psychotic cop/next door neighbor is pretty enticing.

I think SLMFJ is going to be great, but I think the movie will most likely be a downer.

Anyway, rather than risk it, you could always do a little light reading instead to prepare for the upcoming short stories post.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to basics: Metallica- Death Magnetic review

Like most folks who give And Justice for All or even the Black album a spin every now and then, I’ve spent the past six years trying to forget the abysmal St. Anger released by Metallica in 2002.

The album was almost bad enough to warrant adopting a puppy, naming it Metallica, and then abandoning it somewhere in the middle of the desert with no hope of rescue.

So, yeah, I kind of hated St. Anger…A lot.

That being said, I was nearly unwilling to give Metallica even a passing glance once Death Magnetic, the first proper album since St. Anger, was announced.

Perhaps goaded by early reviews, perhaps wanting to believe Metallica could be good again, I eventually caved and plopped down my ten bucks to pick up their latest effort.

I’m glad I did.

I like to envision everyone in Metallica arguing through a band meeting, at which point one of the guys stands up, throws a chair across the room and says, “For the life of me, I can’t understand why I even started playing music in the first place…Can you guys?” Everyone gives this a little thought, realization dawns brightly on each of their faces and a collective “Ooooh yeeeah,” fills the room. Thus, Death Magnetic is born.

Put simply, Death Magnetic is a great addition to the Metallica library and one of the better old school rock albums I’ve heard in a while.

Reminiscent of the good old days with enough new stuff thrown in to keep it from sounding like that was what the band was desperately going for, Metallica has once again made a believer out of me.

The sound is strong and often moving--even if the production is a bit uneven--and the subject matter is dark, desperate, personal and ultimately uplifting. On offer are ten massive tracks exceeding the five minute mark and even a ten minute instrumental break come track nine. The hooks are memorable and will have you singing out loud, the solos are blistering and-- damnitall--it’s just a nice breath of fresh air after more than 15 years of WTF out of the group.

Don’t go in expecting the raw, overly heavy sound of Kill Em All or the brain numbing madness of St. Anger. Metallica is at neither their best nor their worst here, but the quality is high enough to be well worth your attention.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday mini-movies: Cat vs Printer edition

Don't try watching this one without sound. You'll be missing the entire joke.

Watch it with sound, however, and you should be drunk with happy in a matter of one minute and seven seconds.

[Edit: The friend who showed me this video just informed me he originally saw it on and, due to blogging etiquette, I should probably mention that...I'm not going to, though.]

Friday, September 12, 2008

Short stories a-comin

As a special feature to, there will be a posting of several short stories in a couple weeks.

Some irl friends (damn, I'm hip) held a writing contest (Less of a contest and more of a hijacking of creativity...Yes, there was violence involved) wherein folks were sent a picture and told (at metephorical knifepoint) to write a short story about what was going on in the picture.

Honestly, it was a very unique, very awesome idea that, we hope, will produce some pretty cool stories.

Assuming I don't screw this all up somehow, the opneing paragraph and picture for each story will be posted with a link leading to the full story; each expected to be between five and twenty-five pages in length.

Usually I would recommend you turn on a movie or pop in a video game, but reading can be fun too. Get ready to enjoy!