Friday, October 17, 2008

So Many Games, So Little $$$$

Well, it's that time of year again. Hollywood has the summer to release all of it's biggest movies and the video game industry has October to Christmas, to release all of the biggest games. Which of course leaves one in the position of deciding which games to buy. After a lot of soul searching, I think I'm going to have lean towards games with multiplayer potential

Games I'll Get on Release or Close to it:

Far Cry 2 - The map editor should be fun, it looks incredible and I think the single player will be more fun than the first one.

Gears of War 2 - No real explanation needed here. Can't wait to try out the new multi-player modes though.

Call of Duty: World at War - WW2 action with the COD4 engine, should be a fun time.

Left 4 Dead - Loves me some Zombie killing action.

Games I'll Get Soon Enough

Dead Space - looks nice and freaky.

Guitar Hero: World Tour - I have Rock Band 2, I can hold off buying this one for a while.

Fallout 3 - This one looks interesting but I haven't totally made my mind up on it yet.

Now it's time for some quick movie reviews. I didn't see any in September, but I've seen a few this month:

Burn After Reading

I really enjoyed this movie. The critics have complained the story doesn't make a lot of sense but that's the whole point. There were a lot of laughs and everyone gave pretty good performances, especially George Clooney.

Well it's no Unforgiven or even 3:10 to Yuma, but this was still a pretty entertaining enough movie but that's mainly due to Viggo Mortensen's performance. Ed Harris and Jeremy Irons are decent enough but both have been better and I refuse to believe that this many guys would fall for Renee Zellwegger. Huh This is definitely a middle of the road movie overall though where it has some really good stuff, but some really crappy/goofy stuff too, especially the initial "flirting" scenes between Harris and Zellwegger.

Body of Lies

This was a decent movie but nothing special. DiCaprio and Crowe gave good performances though, well Crowe did the best he could talking into a phone for most of his part of the movie. Best part of the movie was Mark Strong's performance as the head of the Jordanian intelligence agency. I didn't even realize it was him until I checked IMDB. He's one of those guys who just blends into his roles, like Stardust and Revolver and even Sunshine.

The story is a bit muddled and it's definitely the acting and action scenes that save this one. I wouldn't recommend anyone run out to see this unless there's nothing else you want to see.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Random Stuff

Well “summer” is now technically over. I know it’s really got a few weeks left but most people regard the Labour Day weekend as the end of summer. All in all, I think I had a pretty decent summer. Got away for a small camping trip, went to a couple concerts (Metal Masters Tour and Crue Fest), got to golf a few times and my game is starting to improve (albeit very slowly) and even managed to get to a couple of the festivals Toronto has that I’ve never been to before – Taste of the Danforth and Beaches Jazz Festival.

Of course on top of all that I saw a ton of movies this summer. Lots of good ones and a few stinkers but I would have to say my top 5 were:

1. Dark Knight
2. Iron Man
3. Wall-E
4. The Incredible Hulk
5. The Strangers

I know that last one isn’t your typical summer blockbuster but it is definitely one of the creepiest horror movies I have ever seen and that’s saying a lot because most horror movies don’t freak me out. I guess I’ve become too desensitized to them. Lol

Speaking of movies, I caught a couple over the long weekend:


This is the latest from Alexandre Aja (Hills Have Eyes remake, High Tension). I think this was a step down for him a bit. It went a little long and wasn't nearly as creepy or as disturbing as his other movies. Still, the story was kind of interesting and the gore/make-up effects were done by Gregory Nicotero, which is always a good thing in my books. Worth a watch for horror fans and I can't wait to see his 3D remake of Piranha. Should be interesting.

Hamlet 2

This may have been the funniest movie of the summer but really none of the comedies this summer have blown me away like Knocked Up and Superbad did last year, or even Forgetting Sarah Marshall did back in April or so. That's why I’d give them all (Step Brothers, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express) about the same rating because I laughed more or less about the same through them all.

This movie wasn't quite as offensive as I was expecting but then nothing really offends me and I'm sure it will offend some people.

Now the summer onslaught of movies is over, the ones I’m most looking forward to this Fall are the new Bond, Burn After Reading and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I’m even looking forward to Max Payne. I was skeptical when I first heard about it but the trailers have me very intrigued.

In non-movie news, I finally got my 360 back last week and I’ve been completely hooked on Tiger Woods 09. I’m not very good at it but playing online with my friends is a complete blast. I have a few small complaints like the placement of the Live notifications on the screen (right over the power and accuracy meters) and also the fact that after an online game, it dumps you out the menu. I think a lobby makes more sense but this is EA after all and nothing surprises me with them anymore.

I’ve also gotten a chance to play more Devil May Cry 4 and I’m just loving it. The graphics are beautiful and the game is just great fun.

Hope you all had a great summer and I have to admit I’m really looking forward to the fall. Football starts this week and hockey is just over a month away. GO LEAFS GO!!!!

One last thing, and only because I love sharing Youtube videos with everyone, here is a favourite of mine from Adam Sandler:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My First Album Review: Slipknot's All Hope is Gone.

Anyone who is familiar with my blog here (and my old one over on MSN Spaces) knows that I generally always post a review of the latest movie I have seen in the theatres, and that's usually about one a week. Today I thought I would try to do the same thing but with a new music album. Before I get into what I think of the album, I should give a caveat that I am a rather tone deaf person. In fact, I have practically no musical skills whatsoever outside of Rock Band and Guitar Hero (is that nerdy or what?).

Anyways, the album I want to briefly comment on is one that I can't stop listening to and that is Slipknot's latest offering All Hope is Gone. In this day and age it is extremely rare for me to like every song on an album. All Hope is Gone is not one of those albums. It is pure dynamite from start to finish, although I could do without the first track which is lead singer Corey Taylor talking of some distortion noises. I have never been a fan of this type of "intro" tracks.

The rest of the album is pure Slipknot although track 11, "Snuff", is a bit of a departure I think for them as it is a slower, more acoustic song that you would expect to hear from Stone Sour (Taylor and guitarist Jim Root's other band).

My favourite song is definitely "Pyschosocial", the current single being played on the radio. It is one of those songs that is full of heavy guitar riffs and powerful vocals that just gets your adrenaline rushing.

I definitely think that most Slipknot fans will love this album as well but some hardcore metal heads will be turned off by the aforementioned track Snuff. I definitely give it a solid 4/5, and just in case you needed any convincing that you need to get this album, I present to you the video for "Psychosocial":

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sean's Movie Reviews: Death Race

Caught the latest offering from Paul W.S. Anderson this morning. While his movies will already ever be considered among the best ever made, they are usually rather entertaining. Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil are definitely two of the better video game adaptation movies out there.

Death Race is his latest offering. This is based on the original Death Race 2000 from the 70s (which I have not seen yet) but instead of being a cross-country race, this one is confined to a prison. The best way to describe the new Death Race is Running Man meets The Condemned meets Twisted Metal.

Jason Statham stars in this movie, as yet again another driver...which is just fine by me. I think he's the best pure action star out there right now. Statham plays a man who is framed for killing his wife so that he can wind up in the prison holding Death Race and, of course, participate in same. The rest of the cast includes Joan Allen as the prison warden (evil of course), Ian McShane as Statham's prison driving coach, Tyrese Gibson as his main rival and Natalie Martinez as Statham's super hot navigator.

The best way to sum up this movie is mediocre acting and writing but incredible balls to the wall action and that is all I was hoping for really. I'd give this a good 3/5 just for the action alone.

In other news, I'm still waiting for my replacement 360. It's been two weeks since mine died and about a week since I took it back to the courier, so I'm hoping to have it early this week. I'm itching to play some more Devil May Cry 4 and Geometry Wars 2, plus I'm missing out on the demos for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Tiger Woods 09. Although, I guess it's better that it died now and not in the Fall when all the big games, especially Gears of War 2, come out.

Now that it's almost at an end, I hope everyone has had a safe and happy summer...even though it's been a rather wet one.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Microsoft Can Kiss My ......

So about a week ago I got a hankering to play some more Geometry Wars 2. I have become rather hooked on that game and I love trying to top my friend's scores, even though I know some will be way out of reach for me. lol Also, I'm just getting into Devil May Cry 4.

So back to last week, I turn on my 360 and it decides to light up like a Christmas Tree with the red ring of death. Needless to say I was a little upset to see this, especially since it is my 3rd Xbox 360. So I called Micro-shit right away to put in the repair order so that I can get my 4th system from them. Of course they were so generous as to offer me a free month of Xbox Live. Wow, a whole 5 or 6 bucks considering the amount of gas and inconvenience I have to go to, now a third time.

At first I thought, maybe it was an early adopter problem since I've had a 360 from day one but now I've come to realize, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, that this system was poorly designed and manufactured from day one.

This is getting a little ridiculous and will definitely make me think twice about picking up their next system right away.

So in my 360-less time, I've been watching some DVDs, playing Crisis Core in the PSP, and of course watching some movies in the theatre, which brings me to my next couple of reviews:

Star Wars: Clone Wars

This was pretty much complete shit in my eyes. Do not see this unless it's because you're taking your kids because, much like Phantom Menace, that's who it is for. The animation was ok and the action scenes were done well but nothing that hasn't been done before. Some characters, i.e. Mace Windu and Palpatine, looked weird. The voice acting was decent with a few of the movie actors playing their parts.

The story itself is pretty goddamn weak and the movie just draaaaggggeedddd. It also pretty much has none of the original Star Wars music, which I guess shouldn't be a big thing but without it, the movie doesn't really feel like Star Wars. The dialogue is bad too. Anakin and his Padawan spout like a teenager show on the CW. I have some more criticisms, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who is planning on seeing it.

I think that George Lucas is becoming like the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs. No matter what shit they put out there, people will keep paying money for it because he obviously doesn't give a shit about quality anymore.

Tropic Thunder

This was pretty funny. Downey Jr. had most of the best parts of the movie. Jack Black had a few very funny scenes too. Ben Stiller was ok. Tom Cruise's cameo is way over hyped. I think the best comedy this summer in my opinion is Step Brothers followed very closely by Pineapple Express.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pineapple Express Review

This is about a week late but last week I caught Pineapple Express, one of my most anticipated movies this summer. I've loved the rest of Seth Rogen's movies - 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and of course Superbad.

Pineapple Express was a pretty funny movie but I don't think it was over the top hilarious like Superbad. I definitely laughed out loud more at Step Brothers than I did at this movie. I think part of the problem with Pineapple for me is that I'm not a pothead, nor have I ever been a pothead, so I think I have a little trouble relating to the whole being stoned thing but still, I can find it pretty funny.

James Franco was very good as the eternally spaced out dealer. The rest of the supporting cast was great as well. Where they found Rosie Perez though, I'll never know. I'll always have fond memories of her though from White Men Can't Jump when I was 12 years old. :P Seth Rogen was good again but I fear that he is becoming a one trick pony almost and will wind up like Vince Vaughn, another one trick pony. I hope his next movie doesn't revolve around pot because I think there is more to him than that, i.e. Superbad.

The action scenes in the movie were actually pretty well done and there is quite a bit of violence in it, much the Lethal Weapon movies, one of the main inspirations of the movie's buddy theme.

I'd give this a 3.5/5. Definitely worth seeing for the laughs and also to give support to Seth Rogen, a fellow Canadian.

This weekend I plan on checking out Tropic Thunder and I'm really looking forward to it.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sean's Movie Reviews: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

This is by far the worst movie I have seen all year. The writing was complete shit and the action scenes were ridiculous. The worst was the use of a firework that acts as a bazooka and somehow makes an electricity run street trolley explode like it was full of gasoline. The action just continued on a downward spiral from there.

Considering how the director is Rob Cohen, I guess I expected a little better. He also did Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and the first Fast and the Furious, and I loved those movies.

On top of the crappy writing and action scenes, the acting was crap too. I wasn't expecting anything Oscar worthy but with Maria Bello in the cast, I was expecting something better. All her performance made me do was wish for Rachel Weisz. Bello's fake British accent was awful.

The other thing that really stood out was the fact that the son in the movie was supposed to be 21 and I don't buy that when you look at Fraser and Bello. Also, somehow the kid lost his British accent from the second movie to this one.

All in all, I'd give it a 1/5. Just complete crap. We sat there and made fun of it the entire movie. I'm really thinking I should have just gone to see The Dark Knight for a 4th time.

Speaking of which, I finally got to see it on the Imax this past week and that is most definitely the best way to see it. The picture and sound are much improved and the 30 mins of the movie that was filmed using Imax cameras are just gorgeous. I think I will see it on the Imax again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reviews; Journey 3D and The Dark Knight

Caught a couple movies in the last few days:

The Dark Knight

Forget Nicholson, Ledger IS the Joker. His performance is the best Joker I've ever seen. I've never been a big fan of his but I can't even begin to describe how awesome he was in this movie. Aaron Eckhart was excellent too as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Maggie Gyllenhal (sic) was nothing special and really didn't do anything that Katie Holmes didn't do and to be honest, I think Holmes was at least a little cuter. The rest of the returning cast was just as good as last time.

This definitely surpasses Batman Begins as one of the best superhero/comic movies. It was just AWESOME!!! My first 5 star movie of the year.

I'll be making another trip for sure to see it on the IMAX. Hell, I might even see it again on the normal screens.

Not one I would take little kids too. It's definitely a hard PG-13 rating but isn't any more violent than Lord of the Rings. Just might be a little scary for the young ones.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3D

This is a movie that would be good to take your kids to but don't do it unless you can see it in 3D. Really isn't worth it otherwise. The 3D effects are done rather well and better than most live action movies with the 3D just tacked on.

I definitely need to think about investing in contacts though. Those 3D glasses, especially the huge IMAX goggles, don't fit too well over my regular specs.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Week in Review

Everyday I go to a few different websites to see the latest news in movies, tv, games, etc. These sites range from Kotaku to AICN to IMDB (one of my most visited sites). One of them though is Dark Horizons, which most people know about.

Well, while I was on there the other day I saw some very disturbing news: Rob Cohen (director of Stealth, Fast and the Furious, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and the newest Mummy movie) is hoping to get a remake of one of my all time favourite movies from the 80s off the ground. What movie is that you ask? It would be none other than the wonderful and inimitable:

Is Hollywood really this out of ideas? The amount of 80s movies being remade is astounding. Red Dawn, Highlander, Robocop (although it may be another sequel now apparently), Child's Play and Nightmare on Elm Street are just a few. I predict that in 10 years, Hollywood will be remaking movies from the 90s. As much as I love movies, this is getting a bit out of control in my humble opinion.

In more exciting and better movies news, the trailer for the Watchmen is now available in gorgeous Quicktime HD. This movie is based on the classic and probably most revered graphic novel of all time from the great Alan Moore and is being directed by Zack Snyder, who did the Dawn of the Dead remake and 300. Moore apparently has completely distanced himself from the movie and has turned his royalties over to Dave Gibbons, the artist of the graphic novel. I can see why he would be worried after the shitfest that League of Extraordinary Gentleman turned out to be but I think that Snyder is the best person for the job and judging from the trailer, I definitely think they're on the right track.

Now that E3 has come to a close, I think I'd like to share some thoughts on the what occurred:

I definitely think that Microsoft won for best press conference. They had the most information and the most surprises/big announcements too. The biggest of course, for most people anyways excluding me, would be that Final Fantasy XIII will be released on the 360 the same day in Europe and North America as it will be on the PS3.

Sony's press conference was neither great nor awful. Nintendo on the other hand just completely mailed theirs in. I bet they figure if they just through the name "Wii" on everything and people will just oooooohhhhh and aaaaaawwwwww all the way to the cash registers and the sad thing is, they're probably right. I definitely think the guys at Penny Arcade put it best in their strip on Wednesday.

Now I'm just counting down the hours until I get to see The Dark Knight at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning....which will be the first of multiple viewings I'm sure. I'm a huge Batman geek and this movie has me excited like a kid on Christmas Eve.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Resident Evil 5 Release Date

Wow...two posts in my first day. :) I just saw this news recently from E3 and it was just too good not to share with the world:

Resident Evil 5 is being released on March 13, 2009 and will include ONLINE CO-OP!!! This is fantastic news because a) I love Resident Evil and 2) I love playing games in online co-op, so it only makes sense that the two of them being brought together in one package would have me so excited.

I don't know about you guys but March can't come soon enough now for me.

First Post and Hellboy II Review

Welcome to my new blog. I used to blog at but I've decided to give this place a try now. If you want to read some of my old thoughts, please feel free to head on over there.

For my first posting here I thought I'd give a little intro about myself and then do a quick movie review of Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

I'm a 27 year old male born in 1980. I live in Mississauga, Ontario, which is just outside of Toronto (which is where I work). I am a single guy who loves to play video games (sean80 is also my Live gamertag), watch movies and tv, watch sports (hockey, football, UFC and baseball mainly), read, surf the net, etc., etc. I am somewhat of a geek given my love of horror and sci-fi and the fact that I will go out of my way to watch a movie in digital instead of regular projection. I watch a lot of movies and you'll find I'll post my thoughts on them quite frequently.

What you'll find if you choose to visit here is my random thoughts on things from games to movies to life to whatever comes into my mind.

Now on with my review of Hellboy II. I've been a big fan of Guillermo Del Toro since I saw Blade II. The first Hellboy is a favourite of mine and I loved Pan's Labyrinth as well. I think he's a very talented filmmaker. With Hellboy II, he has done it again.

This movie completely lives up to the original and is one of the best sequels I have ever seen. It is not as dark as the first one. Where the first one is more sci-fi/horror, this one leans more to the fantasy genre. The special f/x are better than the first one (although given the budget those were good too) and the new characters were incredible. I also loved the story itself and think some of the creatures he has created in this movie are the best I've seen in a while.

Ron Perlman is fantastic once again as Hellboy and it is still some of the best casting ever and ranks right up there with Sin City in terms of people being cast so well to bring a comic to life. It was also nice to see Doug Jones be given the full focus in his roles and not having someone else do a voice over on his character. He is a very talented dude and can embody so many different characters. He played three in this movie alone.

Danny Elfman did the score for this movie, who I am a big fan of. I think this is his best work in years and might be some of my favourite work from him since Edward Scissorhands.

If there were any doubters about Del Toro doing the Hobbit movies (probably not too many around here) this will convince you that he is more than up to the task. Hopefully he'll do another Hellboy after that.

I give this movie a very strong 4/5.