Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday mini-movies: God of War indie edition

I meant to post this a couple weeks ago but, hey, better late to the party than to never show up at all. Unless you’re annoying. In which case, please do not come to my parties.

The above is a fan-made trailer that asks the question “what if God of War, the gloriously violent video game, was made into an indie movie?” I know I’ve asked that very question at least a dozen times a day and, thanks to Gamervision, I now have my answer.

Seriously, this might be my favorite fake trailer ever. I like it so much, I want to give them money to make it into a legitimate project. Now, if only I had that “money.”

Most actual trailers within the genre don’t nail it as perfectly as these guys have. From the music to the stilted dialogue, to the way the whole thing is put together, this is pitch-perfect, Wes Anderson awesomeness.

Friday, August 27, 2010

This week in Joystick Division

You may have noticed a few cosmetic changes around the site. For one, I have dropped my pen name in favor of my actual name, but I assure you I am still the same person. For another, you now have the ability to easily share posts in a variety of ways, including facebook and twitter. And, finally, I've taken up an extra gig contributing posts to Joystick Division.

UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2- Ryan calls it

UFC 118 is here and shaping up to be a great night for fight fans with a card full of big bouts. Featuring the much anticipated rematch of BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar, as well as a battle between a legend of the boxing ring and a legend of the octagon, not to mention several other top fighters featured in the remainder of the main fights, this could shape up to be one of the most entertaining cards of the year.

Nate Diaz vs. Marcus Davis
Starting the night out will be Diaz and Davis, two well rounded fighters with nearly identical fighting styles. The biggest aspect separating these two is Davis' abundance of experience. Diaz, though, has a massive six inch reach advantage and enough heart to go around. I don't want to short guess Davis, but Diaz is hungry for a shot at the top and that motivation will likely earn him the decision.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Let Me In- Give it a chance

I’m of the belief Americans have a literacy problem. Why else would they feel such a strong desire to remake every decent foreign film known to man?

Subtitled films simply don’t do well in the good ole’ U.S. of A. While I refuse to believe cashing in isn’t at least part of the reason such films get made, I also like to believe it has to do with a desire to have English speaking viewers experience something they might otherwise miss.

Most recently, I’m talking about Let Me In, a Hollywood retelling of the recent Swedish masterpiece Let the Right One In, which is in turn based on the beautifully written John Ajvidi Linquist novel.

When it comes to vampires as of late, I like to think I’ve pretty much had my fill. Let the Right One In, though, is a unique tale of gritty young love, mystery and terror that reminds everyone these pointy-toothed night crawlers are to be feared rather than fawned over. In short, they don’t sparkle.

I fell in love with the Swedish film, which had a stay in U.S. indie theaters of about two weeks, and quickly moved on to the novel, which also held my attention in a death grip until I slammed into the final page.

When I heard there would be an American remake of the film, my first reaction was to scoff, moan and otherwise bellyache. I may have even kicked a small child. Now that the trailer for the film has been released, I find myself singing a different tune. Maybe it’s hypocritical of me, but it looks like all the pieces are in place to do the project right and I for one am warming to the idea.

Though the trailer is only two minutes long, I’ve seen enough to make me believe director Matt Reeves has a genuine appreciation for the source material and aimed to craft a film just as beautifully put together and disturbingly romantic as the original. He also seems to have focused on aspects of the story skipped over in the original film, so fans of the Swedish version should have something new to hold their attention.

Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee appear to be perfect for their leading roles (especially Smit-McPhee) and, judging from what’s shown here, the story’s hard edge looks to be intact.

In short, get stoked, horror fans. We might have the first decent film within the genre to come along in quite a while and, so help me, it’s a remake.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Advancements in technology mean a step back for gaming

Technology is in a perpetual state of forward motion, making useful everyday items smaller, faster and stronger with each iteration. By the time these products make it to market, a bug, glitch or misstep occasionally occurs. For the most part, though, I think it’s safe to say technology usually gets better with age.

Not so with the current generation of videogames and consoles.

With the exception of the appropriately named Wii, modern gaming machines are a mammoth testament to the horsepower crammed under the hood. The problem is, all those electronic whozzits and whatsadoos are supposed to make the gaming experience better, but they’ve accomplished the exact opposite. When the result of all this new technology provides a plethora of hindrances to the end user, what’s the point?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Review wrap-up blowout special- Summer 2010

The end of summer brought with it oodles of entertainment. That meant less posts this past week, but hey, I got to catch up on lots of good stuff.

Unless I’m forgetting something, this was probably the most entertaining film I’ve seen all year. The cast is great and the story is imaginative. Some additional background and character development would have been nice, but I honestly believe these things were left out to make room for the intricate plot, which magically teeters on the edge of understanding and leaves you with plenty to think about, which is what’s important in a movie like this.

Despicable Me
Not as good as some of the Pixar classics (I hate to compare, but there it is), but manages to provide just enough cuteness and cleverness to make it a winner. Also, bravo for taking chances with some darker humor uncommon in such family fare.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday mini-movies: Celebration edition

One of the many reasons I enjoy soccer is because those guys really know how to celebrate. Goals come slowly, so you better live large when you manage to slot one into the back of the net.

Some folks settle for ripping off their shirts and sliding on their knees for twenty yards, cheering at the crowd. Others, like the folks shown above, have evolved the simple act of goal celebration into something of an art form.

Friday, August 6, 2010

UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen- Echo calls it

Following a great card a couple weeks ago on Spike, the UFC is back to the regular pay-per-view schedule and this weekend’s fights feature plenty of combatants to get excited about.

Here’s a look at the main card.

Roy Nelson vs. Junior Dos Santos
This fight is tougher to call than I’d like it to be simply because Nelson and Two Santas are such polar opposites. Dos Santos is tall and lean while Nelson, how can I put this…Isn’t. Nelson also works best when he’s lying on top of someone, trying to cut off their air supply with his amazing girth. Santos, on the other hand, is a top-notch striker. Nelson looks to have some pretty hard hands, but I don’t think those are going to do him much good standing against Dos Santos. You know what, no more pussy-footing around on this one. I see Dos Santos overwhelming Nelson quickly, dropping him, them beating him into submission. Da’end.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Movies to miss in August

There’s really not much to talk about in the land of movies this month. Next to nothing is hitting the silver screen and even less is coming out on DVD. Despite that, I’m still going to razz on a couple pictures because, well, I can.

Step Up 3D
And the award for most useless implementation of 3D technology goes to…With a movie series like Step Up, whether or not the 3D is going to be used as a gimmick isn’t really worth debating. I’m not sure what to expect from this one. Are folks going to be dancing off the screen at me? Are we going to be pelted by pretend flying sweat and tossed hair? I’m dying to find out how many people are willing to pay the premium 3D price to see this crap opening weekend. I have a sneaking suspicion the answer will be more depressing than the end of Old Yeller, but maybe folks will take this opportunity to renew my faith in mankind by letting it flop like a landed trout

Vampires Suck
If anything deserves to take some flak these days, it’s Twilight and the millions of horrible vampire books, movies, TV shows and comics that have popped up in its wake. However, is it worse to be the pile of crap, or the person who is going to make money by leeching off the pile of crap while simultaneously reprimanding it? You be the judge. As for me, I’m coining the phrase “a royal circle-suck,” to describe such situations.

Games to get in August

The sweet, sweet slowdown continues this month with only a handful of niche titles sure to please the fans while simultaneously keeping the wallets of those who could care less nice and plump.

3rd- Monster Rancher DS (DS)
10th- Madden NFL 2011 (All)
24th- Mafia II (PS3, 360)
31st- Metroid: Other M (Wii)
31st- Valkyria Chronicles 2 (PSP)

Monster Rancher games are pretty consistent alternatives to Pokemon, so those who still feel the need to catch em all, but unable to wait for Black and White to release next year, should find some refuge here.

I’m no fan of annual installments of sports games (or any game for that matter *cough*Call of Duty *cough*) but all of the early looks show a Madden with a core gameplay that is actually trying a few new things. It’s more than just a new paintjob and roster update, so I guess I’ll cut the series some slack this year.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Top ten worst video game box art: Part two

Continuing the list of the ten worst examples of videogame boxart known to man, I'm proud to present the final five examples of absolute poop.

Once again, remember to click on the images for a bigger, better (worser?) version.