Sunday, December 6, 2009

Favourite Christmas Movies

The Christmas season is well underway (I'm guessing since Halloween or earlier if you go to Costco). At this time every year I, and I'm sure you do too, have certain "must" movies and specials I like to watch every year to get into the season a little more. Today I'm going to talk about my favourite Christmas movies. Soon I will do a new entry about the specials. Just breaking it up so that the entry doesn't come more long winded than it probably will already. Now, onto the movies:

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

This is probably my favourite Christmas movie. It is full of hilarious scenes that will keep you in stitches. From Clark's disc ride down the hill and through the Wal-Mart to the cat getting fried eating christmas lights to Cousin Eddie emptying his RV's septic system into the street sewar with the simple explanation that "the shitter's full", I never stop laughing at this one. I know John Hughes is known for directing, writing or producing the teen angst movies but he also did holiday themed movies very well as well such as this Home Alone and Planes, Trains and Automobiles (which is Thanksgiving). This is just a great movie over all.

A Christmas Carol (1951)

This is probably my second favourite adaptation of Charles Dicken's classic tale. I think Alastair Sim is perfect as Scrooge and does a great job of playing the miserable miser at the beginning of the story to the loveable reformed man at the end. The ghosts are played with perfection too, as are all of the characters to be honest. The black and white film gives the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come an extra creepiness that most other adaptations of this story just can't meet. However, as I said, this is my second favourite version of the tale. My favourite would be...

Mickey's Christmas Carol

I have watched this every year since I was a kid and still love it. I especially love how they involve so many of the classic Disney characters from Mickey as Bob Cratchet to Black Pete as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It's just so well done and gives kids a great way to learn and appreciate the story and should be required viewing for all kids at Christmas time.

White Christmas

This one is just a perennial classic for most people and is also on this list for more of a nostalgic reason for me. I used to watch this one every Christmas eve with my family. When I was a kid, I hated it but as I grew older I grew to appreciate it. I'll always have the fond memories of watching it with my parents and my grandparents, even if the grandparents always fell asleep in front of the fire half way through it.

A Christmas Story

I'm sure some of you were worried I had forgotten this one. This one is much like Christmas Vacation for me in that it is a great Christmas movie and is just hilarious. I'm sure everyone wanted a Red Rider BB gun after seeing this one as a kid. Me however, I always wanted the leg lamp, which my girlfriend would not find suprising as she says I love "crap".

Of course, there are lots of other great Christmas movies such as Miracle on 34th Street and Home Alone that I couldn't cover or this posting would have gotten waaay too long. Also, there are lots of craptastic ones out there too but I won't get into them. That's right Christmas with the Kranks, I'm looking at you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Game Review: Brutal Legend

*NOTE TO READER: Started this a few weeks ago and just posting it now. Sorry, I'm way behind*

This game was definitely near the top of my most wanted for 2009. I was a big fan of Psychonauts and since Brutal Legend is from the same creative mind of Tim Schafer, I was sold from day one. Add in Jack Black and the heavy metal theme and I was drooling for months waiting for this one.

I finished this game last week and to be honest, I don't think it quite lived up to the hype. The heavy metal theme sure did though and the voice acting is top notch. This game has one of the best soundtracks ever. I'm a huge metal fan and the soundtrack for this one was nothing short of AWESOME!! From Ozzy to Judas Priest to Slayer to Lamb of God, it has everything you could want. Jack Black is perfect in his role as Eddie Riggs, the roadie. We all know how Black feels about metal given his work in Tenacious D and this game is almost like it was made for Tenacious D.

I also thought the writing and the storyline, while not over the top awesome, were really enjoyable as well. There was lots of cool humour and of course metal references in this game. The game also has some great cameos in it as well from Ozzy to Lemmy to Rob Halford to even Kyle Gass.

The game is more or less played out in an open world where you can either do missions to progress the main story or you can do side missions such as races, hunting of creatures, helping someone with their mortar fire or defend a position. There are also side objectives such as finding objects throughout the world.

The gameplay though was nothing like what I expected. I thought it might be a God of War hack-n-slash style game, but it ended up being more of an RTS. Most of the missions for the main storyline are played out in this fashion. Your base is a concert stage and your resources for building new troops are "fans" that you accumulate by taking control of towers that supply them to you by playing one of the special solos you have in the game that give you special powers. Much like Warcraft and Command and Conquer, you build your troops once you have acquired enough fans. The controls for these battles are pretty basic and don't take too long to master. The battles themselves though do get quite difficult as the game progresses. I recall a few of them taking me quite some time to finish.

Overall, I enjoyed the game but glad I only rented it. The main storyline doesn't take that long to finish, depending on how well you progress through the battles. If you can rent it or see it on the cheap, I definitely say pick it up but don't pay full price for it.

Rating: 7/10

Monday, July 27, 2009

Game Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Xbox 360)

I was finally able to rent this last week after my local Blockbuster never seemed to have a copy in. They got like 4 copies when it first came out but they got 20 of Terminator. I'll never understand how that works.

I really enjoyed this game. It's definitely how I picture a Wolverine movie or game should be, full of him slashing the shit out of people. This game definitely earns its M rating. It is violent on the same level as the God of War games, which it is definitely trying to be. Instead of Kratos and the Chains of Olympus, you get Wolverine and his claws.

I found the story to be decent enough. It more or less follows the movie but adds in some changes here and there. The graphics are decent but not the best I've seen. Sometimes when Wolverine is supposed to be covered in blood in the videos, it's all glossy and looks too syrupy. Still the carnage and violence are really well done. Wolverine cuts people in half, he disembowels them, he impales them on conveniently placed objects around the environment or just plain beheads them. Also, when he takes damage the level of damage is very evident on his body. If he takes enough you even see his adamantium skeleton. Of course, he does regenerate. He wouldn't be Wolverine if he didn't right? You just have to make sure he gets time to heal. You can find upgrades and earn XP points of course to get extra health, faster healing times, stronger skills, etc.

My only real complaint with the game is that it is rather short (I finished it in about 5 days) and also it gets a little repetitive fighting the same baddies over and over again. In the end though, it's definitely a great rental and worth checking out.

Rating: 3/5

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I caught this yesterday with Karli. I did enjoy it. I think the kids are getting better with each movie in their roles as they grow older. It's funny seeing them in the first movie eight years ago and then you see them now. You almost feel kind of wrong in thinking the girls are turning out to be pretty hot now that they're 18 and all. :P

Anywho, I thought for a movie that ran about 2 hours and 40 minutes they could have put more about the Half-Blood Prince in it. I mean he is in the title afterall but he gets mentioned at the beginning, then a little throughout and then nothing until the big reveal at the end of the movie in a rather anti-climatic way. I'll keep away from spoilers but there is another rather large event in the movie that I think could have been done better and was also cut short. Again, just take the extra time (a la Lord of the Rings) and put the extra stuff in.

This one is definitely darker than the last one and that one was darker than the last and so on. I definitely don't think it's for the little kiddies anymore. It's not quite pushing PG-13 but I think the two movies they're doing for book 7 could hit that rating given the violence in it.

Overall, I did like HP6, but it's definitely not one of my top summer movies. I think right now that is still The Hangover and Transformers 2. We'll see though since Karli and I are going to check out Funny People and Public Enemies this weekend at the drive-in.

Public Enemies is one I've been dying to check out seeing as it is directed by Michael Mann (Last of the Mohicans rocks the shit and does Heat of course and most of his movies) and it stars Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Funny People though is definitely on the top of my anticipated movies though since it's directed by Judd Apatow and has an awesome cast. I'll post my reviews as soon as I see them.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hockey!! Hockey!!! Hockey!!!

Just as a forewarning, this post will have nothing to do with video games or movies, which I'm sure you've noticed, is the majority of what I blog about.

As any hockey fan knows, July 1 is not just Canada Day to us Canadians but also the start of the NHL's free agency period. As a Leafs fan, I always wait with baited breath to see what latest mistake whoever the current GM of the team will make, especially in the new salary cap era of the League. Overpay for a player who turns out to be a bust and your team is screwed. For the first three years of the salary cap era, we had John Ferguson doing this every year. The first year saw him sign Pavel Kubina to a 4 year, $20 million deal that apparently most other GMs in the league laughed at. Then two years ago he signed Jason Blake to the same kind of deal after only ONE 40 goal season. Part of the decline in Jason's play the first season with the Leafs wasn't totally his fault of course but that deal really hurt the team. Thankfully, Ferguson was fired the season before last. Now we have Brian Burke in charge.

I was quite curious to see what he would do with the team. I knew he was going to toughen us up and try to make us somewhat of a modern day Broad St. Bullies (the infamous 70s Flyers were one of the nastiest teams to ever play the game). Indeed he did this by signing Mike Komisarek from the Canadiens and Colton Orr from the New York Rangers. He also traded for Grant Exelby from the Atlanta Thrashers by sending them the aforementioned Kubina. I feel sorry for anyone who has the puck (or not in some cases) when crossing these guys).

The most important thing he did I think was not go out and overspend on a bunch of players like the Canadiens did. I won't go into it too much but I think the Canadiens have screwed themselves in terms of the salary cap by trading for Scott Gomez from the Rangers (cap hit $6.5 million) and signing Mike Camallari (cap hit $6 million) and Brian Gionta ($5 million). They're all good players but are they worth top line money? Obviously, that remains to be seen but I doubt it. If the cap does drop next year like they are speculating it will, then they won't have a lot of wiggle room if these players don't work out like they are hoping.

The one thing I've really noticed lately is that teams are signing guys to very long deals. Usually 3-5 years was considered long term but now they are signing guys to deals that are 10, 11, 12 or even 13 years. Of course, the Capitals signing Ovechkin to a 13 year deal only makes sense. He's young and probably the best player in the league (at least in my opinion) but the Blackhawks signed Marian Hossa to a 12 year deal!!

Of course, the Red Wings have done this with players as well. I think they are doing as a way to get around the cap. They sign playes to long term deals that are front end heavy in terms of salary so that the cap hit is less over the full term of the deal. For example, Hossa's deal will pay him $7 million or so for the first 8 years and then about $3.5 million for the last 4 years. Since the deal was 12 years for $63.5 million or so, the cap hit is only just over $5 million. I think the league will try to do something to stop this from happening but it won't be any time soon. Can't blame the GMs or players for doing it though. Just smart business.

In the end, I am pleased with what Burke has done so far with the Leafs. We are a rebuilding team and he is definitely putting us in the right direction I think. I'm definitely getting very excited for the new season. Is it October yet? lol

Review Time: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Disclaimer: I am a HUGE Transformers fanboy and the following review is written as such. However, a lot of people I know who aren't big fanboys share the same views I do of the movie, for the most part.

Caught this last weekend. My girlfriend Karli was nice enough to go with me so I could see it opening weekend. Unfortunately, she didn't really care for it and I could see where she was coming from but Transformers was the shit for me in the 80s. Optimus Prime was my hero (along with Superman and Hulk Hogan of course) and when they killed him in the animated movie in the mid-80s, I was devastated.

When they first announced the last movie, I was skeptical, especially since Michael Bay was directing. I like Michael Bay's movies for the most part and thought The Island was a much better movie than people give it credit. I was just worried about how he would treat the Transformers and especially how it could be done with live action. Needless to say, I loved it from the moment I laid my eyes on it. Saw it four times in the theatre.

Anyways, enough with the history lesson. I read some reviews of the newest one before seeing it and was a little dismayed but not that surprised with the scores it was getting. When I checked Metacritic before heading to the theatre, it was sporting a nice shiny score of 35 or so. However, when I read the reviews I wondered if those reviewers had seen the first movie because a lot of what they complained about in this one was the same as the first one.

I might as well come out with it now and say what I thought of it: I LOVED THE SHIT OUT OF IT!!! I'm even seeing it again this coming Sunday. I think all those reviewers who gave it such a low score can blow it out their collective asses.

First off, I think the special effects and CGI are very much improved from the first movie. In the first one I found that hand-to-hand combat between the Transformers was a little hard to follow but it was much clearer this time around, especially during the big forest fight between Optimus and three Decepticons. That scene caused me to crack a HUGE smile across my face which gave Karli a giggle. What can I say, I'm still just a big kid at heart. I am still amazed at well they were able to pull off the transforming. I especially love when they transform on the run. Simply awesome.

The humans are the same as last time...filler. Shia LaBoeuf is the same fast talking guy he was last time and Megan Fox is the eye candy. I thought the best humans were Sam's parents and also John Turturro. Otherwise, who cares about them when giant robots are beating the crap out of eachother? :)

Speaking of the bots, there are a whole bunch of new ones. Soundwave is finally in the picture, along with Rampage, and I love how they were both done. Sideswipe is back too and is a very sexy Corvette. Despite there being a Devastator in the first movie, this time around it is the proper Devastator we all know and love. They even brought in Jetfire, who is a former Decepticon turned Autobot just like he was in the cartoons.

There are a couple of new Autobots that have been upsetting people. They are supposedly stereotypical ebonics speaking ganstas who do nothing important and are called the new JarJar Binks. While they do speak a little gangsta they do play a very important role in the movie. I think people were getting upset over nothing.

The most important new bot of course is the "Fallen" in the subtitle of the movie. He is an ages old Transformer who came to Earth thousands of years ago and was one of the first. They give some of his backstory but I really think they should have fleshed it out a bit more and cut some of the human stuff out. Given that the movie is 2.5 hours long, they could have used that time for that stuff a little better.

The runtime is my only real complaint with the movie. It is a little long. Bay did the same thing with Bad Boys II. However, it still flew by pretty quickly for me and I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was watching the movie. If you liked the first one, you should like this one too.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Movie Review Time

Over the last few weeks I've seen a few movies (big surprise there huh? lol) and here is what I thought of them:

The Hangover

This movie was f'n hilarious. It's from the director of Old School and Road Trip. I think it's even funnier than those two movies. Definitely could be the break-out movie for Bradley Cooper (even though he's made a few movies already such as Wedding Crashers), Ed Helms (Andy from the Office) and Zach Galifiankis. To be honest, I think Helms and Galifinakis stole the movie from everyone else. Karli and I went to see this and I think I nearly wet myself at a lot of the scenes. It was outrageous and very raunchy, the perfect type of humour for me. It is definitely R-rated and not for the little ones.


Pixar has done it again and I really don't know how they keep doing it. They just put out quality movie after quality movie and I think this one is definitely one of their best. It really felt like classic Disney film making with the excellent writing and heart of the movie blended with the action and adventure.

The beginning of this movie is a little heavy for the kids but from there on out they should just love it. The talking dogs I think were the best part of the movie.

This is definitely one that both the kids and the adults will love.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

This is a remake of a movie from the 70s that starred Walter Mathau and Robert Shaw. I haven't seen that one so I can't compare it with this one.

This one though stars Denzel Washington and John Travolta and is directed by Tony Scott. Scott's involvement of course means camera cuts that could give a person seizures. Washington plays an NYC subway dispatcher, and Travolta plays the villain who hijacks a subway. For the most of the movie they never see eachother and only talk over the radio.

This was better than I expected. It's definitely not one of Tony Scott's better movies but is miles above Domino. Had a some good action and tension. Travolta is not as good a villain as he was in Face/Off but he was good hamming it up as the villain in this one. Washington was his usual self.

E3 impressions wrap-up

Ok, I know it's been about 2 weeks since I started putting down my E3 impressions in writing but then I got busy and sick, so I haven't had a chance to finish it up. That's what I'm going to do now.

Thanks to Nintendo, everyone wants to get into the motion sensing game. Nintendo of course started it all with the Wii but now Microsoft and Sony want to get into the game.

Personally, I think Microsoft's Project Natal is a lot more interesting looking that Sony's magic wand. Just the ability to flip through the dash with the wave of a hand looks pretty damn cool to me. The thing that concerns me of course is price. I'm wondering how much Microsoft is going to be able to seel this thing for. If it's under $200, I'm there for sure.

As for some of the games that the other guys showcased for us, Sony's God of War III is going to be the reason I re-buy a PS3. The first two God of Wars are in my top games of all time list for sure. I even really liked the PSP version.

Nintendo showed off a new Super Mario Bros. for the Wii that looks to be in the same vein as the one on the DS a couple years back, which I absolutely loved. My girlfriend and I are thinking of getting a Wii together and this would probably be one of the first games we get for it. It's definitely a game right up her alley too.

Nintendo also showed us a new Metroid game from Team Ninja, the guys behind Ninja Gaiden. To be honest, it'll be nice to play a new Metroid game that isn't a shooter.

In the end though, I think Microsoft definitely had the best showing this year overall but the other two did have a couple things to pique my interest too.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

E3 Impressions: Microsoft, Part 1

I know it's been about a week since E3 but I finally have some time to post some impressions of what I thought of what was presented to us by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. What I'll do is do a series where I'll look at each company individually. Where a game is going to be on more than one system, i.e. Modern Warfare 2, I'll put it with the system I am most likely to buy it for.

I think Microsoft definitely had the best showing of the week. They started out strong by showing us a great preview of Beatles Rock Band. I am not 100% sure if I am going to buy this or not. If I do, it will be the game only as I don't need anymore plastic instruments laying around. To be honest though, I am starting to feel a little oversaturated with all the music games available. I think I'm going to take a break from them for a little while. Really, I think a steady stream of DLC is a far better way of releasing new music than putting out a new disc every year. The Beatles game is a bit of an exception though but with only 45 or so songs on the disc, it seems like a drop from the normal number in a Rock Band or Guitar Hero release.

There were a couple of games that Microsoft showed off that have me really excited. The top of the list being Modern Warfare 2 from Infinity Ward, who gave us Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. After watching the gameplay video they showed off, I have to say I am drooling at the mouth for this one. I mean, c'mon, you get to ride snowmobiles like something out of a James Bond film or True Lies, the last really good Schwarzenegger movie. Please for you to enjoy, the gameplay video shown off at E3:

Left 4 Dead 2 is another game that really has me excited. I, like a lot of other people, was quite shocked that another Left 4 Dead game is coming out only a year after the first one. Perhaps they could have just released some more DLC for the first game but if they give us another 4 or more full scenarios like the first game and some more online multiplayer modes, I have no problem buying another full priced game. I do have to admit that I am really looking forward to whipping out the chainsaw and hacking up some zombies.

Microsoft of course also showed off some new games from the Halo universe. The one game everyone already knew about, Halo: ODST, which comes out this Fall. Include with the new game is a second disc containing all of the Halo 3 multiplayer modes, which are playable with anyone who is using the Halo 3 game disc. Now, I'm not the biggest Halo fan but I think this is a very smart move.

The other new Halo game was Halo: Reach, which caught everyone off by surprise. There is some information about it in the link I posted above for ODST. It appears to be some sort of a prequel. Here is the teaser they showed off though:

The last game I'm going to mention is Brutal Legend, before this post gets too long. This game is from the guys at Double Fine, who gave us the fantastic Psychonauts. This one looks like it'll be a Tenacious D game though, especially with the inclusion of Jack Black. I'm a huge heavy metal fan and I think this game looks like a complete blast. I definitely can't wait to play it.

I think that's it for today. Next post, I'll give my impressions on Project Natal to wrap up what I thought of Microsoft's showing at E3 this year.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Review Time: 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand

ESRB Rating: M (violence, drug references, language)
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
Gametype: First Person Shooter

First and foremost let me start off by saying that I never thought I would say this about a game involving Fiddy but I really, really enjoyed this game. I saw a review for it on X-Play and my friend Chris told me he had fun playing it as well, so I figured I would give it a rental.

The story is pretty simplistic but then most shooters are. Basically, Fiddy performs a concert in the Middle East with the rest of G-Unit. When the concert promoter is unable to pay him, he offers him a diamond skull (a skull covered in diamonds, not a diamond shaped like a skull). This, of course, gets stolen sending Fiddy and a G-Unit member of your choice on a chase to get it back.

Aside from the rap soundtrack, which I am not a fan of, this is a pretty sold shooter game that definitely leans more on the arcade side. You rack up a score for kills, chain kills, destroying things, etc. You also earn money so you can buy new weapons, counterkills and taunts (which I never tried). The graphics are pretty solid but not the best thing out there. The sound is great, aside from the aforementioned soundtrack. I found the controls were really easy to

The game does use a cover system much like the one in Gears without the duck and run. The counterkills are really easy to perform as well. You press B when an enemy is near you and press B again when prompted. They are pretty fun to use.

The game does have co-op in it but I didn't get a chance to try it out as no one else I know has it and I didn't feel like it playing with a stranger. From what I could tell from playing through by myself though, I think the co-op would sort of be like Army of Two with the usual helping eachother open gates, hoist eachother up onto high spots, etc.

Overall, I would definitely say this game is a great rental but not a purchase as it only took me about 7-8 hours to play through. A very good timewaster for sure though.

Rating: 7/10

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another trip to Liberty City.

Last night I finished the main storyline for The Lost and Damned, the DLC that came out recently for GTA IV. I think this is definitely some of the best DLC that has ever been released for a game. At a price of 1600 MS Points, it's definitely one of the more expensive ones but it is completely worth it. The main storyline took me about 7.5 hours to complete with an overall completion of 65%. I probably have another hour or two of side missions to finish to get 100%. That would give me a total of 9-10 hours, which is a steal at $22.00 CDN. I've paid $60 or $70 for a game and barely gotten that much.

This time around you play as Johnny K, a member of the Lost biker gang that Niko had some run ins with in the original GTA IV storyline. The original president of the chapter has just been released from jail/rehab and and you are now forced to do what he thinks is best for the gang despite how much you disagree. The storyline does sort of follow a predictable path but it is very enjoyable and I almost liked it more than Niko's story.

The one thing the game does very well is link Johnny's story with Niko's. You run into some of the same characters such as Niko himself, Roman, Liz Torres, Playboy and Ray Boccino. Some of the missions you play even link directly to the main game, i.e. you are the one who kidnaps Roman, they mention that Niko kills one of your brothers and you even play through the same mission you did with Niko but from Johnny's point of view. I really liked how they did this.

Some of the other additions include some new music. I couldn't tell you how much exactly as I usually just listen to Liberty Rock but there was some new songs on there for sure. They've also introduced a grenade launcher and an assault shotgun, which may be my absolute favourite weapon in a GTA game ever.

The only problem I had with the game and is not a criticism of it but more of my skills, is that there is more bike combat, i.e. having to shoot people while riding your bike. Let's just say, that's not the easiest thing in the world for me to do but it's not something that lessened my enjoyment of the game.

Overall, I am more than impressed with this DLC and cannot wait for the next one. GTA IV was my game of 2008 and this just expands and improves the games. A definite 5/5 in my books.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sean's Top 5 T.V. Shows

I must be feeling productive this morning if I'm doing two posts. :) I just thought I would share my list of the top 5 t.v. shows I am currently watching. They are as follows (in alphabetical order):

30 Rock

This is the funniest show on t.v. right now and has one of the funniest casts going right now too. From Tina Fey to Alec Baldwin to Tracy Morgan to everyone else, I always bust a guy no matter what they are doing onscreen. I also do like the guest stars they are able to attract as everyone seems to want to be in the Tina Fey business right now, and who can blame them. :P A recent newspaper article I read said that the show relies too much on guest stars and I guess I can see that point but generally I love them all. Steve Martin even delivered one of the best lines this season: "We'll go to Toronto. It's like New York but without all the stuff". So very true. lol

Big Bang Theory

My friends Maggi and Chris got me into this one when I visited them last fall and I've been hooked ever since. It has to be one of the funniest shows on t.v. right now. It's a must see for all nerds and geeks really as I'm sure most of us can relate to the characters and their love of comics, scifi, video games, etc. Sheldon as the supergenius arrogant weirdo is probably the best character in the show. I just love how they tie geek culture into it, from Halo Nights to Rock Band to freaking out because Summer Glau is on the same train as them. My only criticism of the show is the overuse of the big canned laughter. Not every joke needs the huge outburst of laughter.


I've loved this show since it first premiered last season. The character all have great chemistry, the writing is usually very crisp and it also has the geek references we can all enjoy. Adam Baldwin as the NSA agent Casey is just as good as he was on Firefly and the rest of the cast is great in their roles as well. I don't think they've had a single episode that I really haven't liked.

Prison Break

This is one of the most ridiculous, unbelieveable shows on t.v. and that is exactly why I love it. The shows has definitely veered off from the original season's flow and has brought in more conspiracies than one can shake a fist at. The characters always seem to find a way out of every tough situation they face. However, it is a very fun show to watch and always has some very good action sequences. It's just a real shame that it's being taken off the air after it's next 4 or so episodes. To be honest though, I can't believe they found a way to stretch it out this long (that's what she said).


This is probably my favourite show on t.v. and has been one of the most consistently enteraining ones since it first started 4 seasons ago. The two actors playing Sam and Dean Winchester, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, have the best brother chemistry I think I've seen on t.v. in quite some time. They even look like they could be brothers in real life. One of the reason I love this show is that I'm a big fan of horror movies and this show is almost like a 1 hour horror movie every week with bad guys from Reapers to Vampires to Demons to Ghosts to you name it. I love the variety of bad guys they seem to find in the occult and it's not always the same thing although ghosts and demons due show up more than anyothers. The main storyline this season of the demons trying to free Lucifer so he can bring on the apocalypse and the Winchesters being recruited by angels to fight on the side of Heaven has been very entertaining and interesting. I really hope they can get one more season but if it ends after just four, that's ok because not too many shows can be good for this long.

Now I know everyone has shows they would change with what I have set out, but it's my list so too bad. ;) What would you list as your favourite shows? I just listed the shows that I am current and up to date on. I do love Friday Night Lights and Battlestar Galactica too, but I haven't stayed up on their latest seasons and waiting to watch them this summer in one fell swoop. I also enjoy other shows such as The Office, My Name is Earl, Smallville and even the second half of Heroes' season but they just didn't make the cut.

What a Piece of...

So last weekend, my girlfriend and I decided, well I guess I decided and she just went along with it, to rent Twilight since it was on DVD. I had heard rather mixed reviews so I thought I should check it out for myself. I have never read the books and to be honest I don't really have a huge desire to do so either.

Well, after struggling my way through it I think it's safe to say it's one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. The story had no real flow to it and I thought the acting was more or less pretty weak. I didn't think they did a very good job of developing the relationship between Edward and Bella and their chemistry was pretty weak too. I also felt like the whole storyline with the bad guys was just shoved in there and didn't get a good build up. I'm guessing it's because they had to cut so much from the book to fit it in a two hour movie but it was safe to say both Karli and I didn't like it. In fact, I was tempted turn it off but I thought I should see the end. My brother, after seeing it in the theatre, described it as Dawson's Creek with vampires, and he was bang on the money with that description.

I've been told I should check out the book since everything gets explained better in it but I still really don't have any desire to do so even though I've heard the next book is even better, especially with the introduction of werewolves.

We also watched Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist last weekend. It was a pretty cute movie and would be something indie hipsters would really like. I did enjoy the music and it was pretty funny. The only thing is that Michael Cera is starting to play the exact same character in every movie. While I do enjoy his work, he's going to get tiresome pretty quickly. I had the same problem with Vince Vaughn.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Time for Some Quickies!!

I finished a couple games the past week or so and I just thought I would share my thoughts on them in a couple of quick reviews:

Dead Space

I absolutely loved this game and think everyone should check it out. It's definitely a Resident Evil style game but set in space, but it improves on some of the mainstays from the RE series. More than anything, I really liked that I was able to shoot my gun and walk at the same time. I don't quite get why in RE you stop dead in your tracks (no pun in intended) before trying to kill the zombies. To be quite honest, if I had zombies coming after me, I wouldn't stop running. I might stop and do Thriller, but that's it. I almost wish now that I had started it after Resident Evil 5 so that the lack of moving while shooting wouldn't stick out so much.

This game definitely has some of the best spaceship environments I've seen in a game and it definitely has a very creepy atmosphere that provides for some very tense moments. The creatures/aliens have some pretty cool designs to them too. The suits your character wears do remind me of Bioshock but I love how your health and other stats are displayed on the suit, allowing the game to have HUD that isn't full of displays. The headsup video communications and inventory system look very cool too. Almost like something out of Minority Report.

The weapons in this game are some of the coolest I've ever used in a game. My favourite was the line gun. Since the objective when fighting enemies was to dismember them and not just fire into them as much as possible, the line gun perfect for this purpose.

I'm definitely looking forward to any eventual sequels. I really recommend that everyone check this out as I think it's definitely in the top 5 of games that came out in 2008 for me.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis

Just finished this one today after swiping it from my girlfriend on the weekend. I haven't played the first one, so I don't know what kind of game it is, but this one is very much like Lemmings. You have to get your mini-Marios through the exit in each level. The most you have on one level though is usually 4 or 5 (a few have 6 or 7), so it doesn't have quite the numbers that Lemmings does.

I'm a big fan of Lemmings, so I really enjoyed this even though as I said it doesn't have the number of characters and you also don't have the tasks you do in Lemmings, i.e. diggers, builders, etc. You do have to manipulate the playing board though and it's all done very well with the stylus. Controlling the minis with the stylus is pretty easy too although if they're tightly bunched up, it's a little hard to control specific ones.

The levels start off pretty easy and get very tough as you progress through the game. There are 8 floors of 8 levels, plus a minigame and then the boss fight against DK. I'd say I put about 6 hours into this game tops to get it finished.

I haven't played with the level maker yet and the game does have Wi-fi too. I do recommend you check out this game but at a lower price.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I watched the Watchmen

Even though it's been over a week since I saw it, I'm finally going to post my thoughts on the Watchmen movie, without spoilers for those still waiting to see it. First off, I just want to say that I really liked this movie a lot. I think Zach Snyder and co. did the best job they could do taking the source material and turning it into a movie. Even at a run time of about 2 hours and 40 minutes, there is still a lot of material from the original graphic novel that they had to take out. However, I think they did a great job of deciding what to keep in and what to take out.

They also didn't make too many changes to the story itself until the ending. The basic premise of the ending is the same as the book but some of what happens is different. To be honest though, I preferred the ending of the movie to the book. Karli did as well. In fact, she liked the movie a lot more than the book.

As for the casting, it ranged from spot-on to good, but not great. Rorshach was the best casting in the movie and he was exactly as I pictured he would be in terms of his voice, mannerisms, etc. The weakest casting was probably Dr. Manhatten, however, to be fair, it's hard to act I'm sure when you do pretty much the whole movie covered in sensors for the motion capturing.

This movie is definitely not a comic book movie to take the kiddies to. It is violent, has bad language and nudity. Definitely earns it's R-rating.

I give it a very well deserved 4/5 and hope everyone goes to check it out.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Who Watches The Watchmen?

This guy right here. Well not until next Saturday hen the movie opens next weekend. I went to the theatre yesterday and picked up tickets for Karli and I. Yep, she has agreed to go see it with me. She even read the graphic novel. While she wasn't totally impressed with it, she still wants to see the movie. Yeah, she's pretty awesome. :)

I'm really rather excited about going to see Watchmen. I loved the book, even more so on my second read through. I think that, aside from maybe one or two characters, they did a fantastic job in casting the movie. I really liked that they are using actors that are accomplished but not huge celebrities like a Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt. Director Zach Snyder has done this with Dawn of the Dead (Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames) and 300 (Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic Cooper). I think it really helps to let the movie itself take centre stage and not just whose name is on the billing. I guess it also helps the studios keep their costs down.

As a huge fan of Snyder's previous two movies, mentioned above, I really think he'll do the source material justice. I'm not expecting it to be an exact adaptation, as that is impossible with most written material, but I'm sure his movie will be as faithful as possible.

Speaking of movies, I just realized that I haven't shared my thoughts on the new Friday the 13th movie. I caught this a couple weeks back with my brother Adam as he's my horror movie buddy, i.e. no one else really wants to go see them with us including our girlfriends. :P

I really liked what they did with this installment in the Friday the 13th series. It's not a complete remake/reimaginging/sequel. Basically what they've done, is they've taken elements of the first three original movies and used them in this one. As everyone who cares probably knows, in the original Friday the 13th, the killer is Pamela Voorhees and not her son Jason. She of course meets an undesirable fate at the end of the movie. Then in the second movie Jason takes over where mom left off. That is how this one starts off. You see what happens to Mommy Dearest over the opening credits and then it's all Jason from there on out.

When you first meet Jason, he doesn't have his signature hockey mask yet. This was the same case in the original 2nd movie. He doesn't get the mask until the third movie. He gets his mask in this one later on in the movie.

This movie does have all the requirements of a slasher movie. Stupid horny youngsters, girls who like to take their clothes off and lots of drinking and drug use. The movie starts with a group of kids in their late teens/early 20s who are in the forest looking for a secret pot stash. They have an unfortunate run-in with a certain masked killer. We then find out that the brother of one of the girls in the group (Jared Padelecki from Supernatural - which is a show everyone needs to watch) is now looking for his sister and he runs into the latest group of younguns who are going to a cottage to party. You can imagine what happens next.

If you like slasher flicks, this is one of the better ones...especially since they didn't wimp out with a PG-13 rating. This is a very R-rated movie with the violence and naked chicks and whatnot. It was also much scarier than pretty much any other movie in the series. Check it out for sure.

While on the subject of horror, I can't say enough how excited I am about Resident Evil 5. Mainly, I'm dying to play the online co-op. While I am trying to rent more games, I'll be buying this one for sure. I'm hoping to finish Dead Space before then but I'm only on level 2. I'm loving the game though. It's like Resident Evil in space with a dash of Bioshock. Just have to make sure all my gaming time doesn't go to Left 4 Dead or Death Tank. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I guess I must be improving at this blog thing since it's only been a couple weeks since my last one and not the usual couple months. :)

So Karli and I did go to the Meditteranean restaurant. The food was ok. It was like eating at a Mr. Greek. We didn't go to see Taken as planned as I heard that the version in North American theatres was edited from the version that played in Europe in 2008. I managed to get my hands on a copy of the European version and we watched it this week. We both loved it. Karli was quite impressed with how much ass Liam Neeson was kicking. I admit, I was too. It's not a movie you watch for plot but Luc Besson and his crew sure know how to put together some great action movies. My favourite of theirs is Kiss of the Dragon but I love the Transporter movies too.

Someone I work with has seen both cuts of Taken and he said they did remove some things, I guess so Fox could get the PG-13 rating in North America. To be honest, this movie is no more violent than Casino Royale and that was PG-13 as well. Oh well, the movie is still great either way. I just wish it had a cool car chase or something along those lines as I love European car chases, such as Ronin. That is one fantastic movie. In fact, I think I need to break it out sometime soon as I haven't watched it in a little while.

In gaming news, I've just played through Tomb Raider: Underworld and I really liked it. It definitely has one of the best soundtracks I think I've ever heard in a game. Now I think I'm finally going to work my way through Dead Space.

I also saw the great news yesterday that the new Survival Pack for Left 4 Dead is going to be FREE!! Yes folks, that's right, a game developer that cares about their fans and not just about over charging for things. I really have a lot of respect for Valve for doing that. Same goes to Criterian Games (and EA) for all the goodies they keep putting out for Burnout Paradise.

I hope everyone has a good Valentine's Day weekend, whether you have a special someone or not. Karli and I are going to dinner on Saturday night. Nothing too big but it'll be fun anyways just because. :) And for everyone in Ontario, have a great Family Day weekend. It may be a hoaky holiday but I'll take them when I can get them. I think we should have at least one long weekend a month. It's good for the sanity.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and try to stomach another Leafs game. They're losing 4-1 to Tampa Bay after one period. I hope we get a good draft pick after this. Speaking of Leafs games, Karli and I are going to see them play Columbus next Thursday. It'll be Karli's first Leafs game at the ACC, so I'm really excited for her to see it. :)

Until next time, stay frosty!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Right now, I'm sitting at the computer in my girlfriend's place waiting for her to come back from work so we can go on our date night. We're going to try a new place - well new for us, not new as in just opened. It's a Mediterranean restaurant and we both love greek food so we're excited to check it out. I think I've discovered why I like greek food so much though...tzatziki sauce. That stuff is like crack for me. I'd put it on cereal if it was socially acceptable. I don't think there's anything in the world that it doesn't go with. One thing is I need to try something other than gyros. I love them but I need to branch out.

After dinner, we're going to go check out the movie Taken, the new one with Liam Neeson. I love those European action movies from Luc Besson and his crew. They've brought us the Transporter series, Kiss of the Dragon and Unleashed to name a few. Kiss of the Dragon is one of my favourite Jet Li movies. The action is just incredible.

Now I've heard that Taken has been "watered down" for North America but I've talked to a couple people who have seen the European version and they said it wasn't that violent to begin with so I'm guessing they can't have cut out too much. Either way we're both excited to check it out. It was either that or Underworld 3. Thank god she isn't trying to get me to watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I think that one can wait for DVD. I'll be sure to post my thoughts on Taken sometime soon.

As for the rest of the weekend, I'll probably try to catch the UFC tomorrow night with the big fight between GSP and B.J. Penn. As a Canadian, I am obviously rooting for GSP to come out on top. Sunday of course is the Super Bowl. I am rather indifferent to both teams but it would be kind of cool to see the Cardinals pull it off.

Anyways, that's it for me. Hope you all have a great weekend. Next time I'll try to come up with something a little more exciting. lol

One last thing though: GO GSP!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Yep, that's me I'm referring to in the title. It's been over 3 months since I last did a post. I really am the worst blogger ever. Lots has happened in that 3 months though, none of them are excuses though. First and most important is I've got myself a new girl in my life, Karli, who I am totally crazy about...but I'll save you from having to read about my gushings here. I also joined a gym and that is taking up 3-4 nights a week. So far, I am down 15 lbs or so. It's a start and I still have a ways to my goal but I'm getting there. Just need to cut out the junk food a little better.

The main thing though is that when I do have some spare time I've been playing all the great games that have been coming out the last few months. Hollywood as the Summer for it's big titles and the gaming industry has the Fall. So far I've been very pleased with most of the games I've played. Gears 2 was incredible as was expected, Left 4 Dead is one of the best co-op experiences every, Mirror's Edge was a great idea and had it's fun moments but could have been better and Prince of Persia was a great surprise too.

Prince of Persia though is the latest one I've played. I finished it on Sunday. I picked it up on Boxing Day (Canada's version of Black Friday only it's the day after Christmas) for a great deal at $29.99. At that price I couldn't resist.

One of the things I loved the most about this game is the new art style. It's a big departure from the last few Prince games. I also really like how it focused more on the wall running action over combat. There are enemy fights and boss fights, but they only happen once or twice a level. The controls are fairly easy to learn, although there are times where you might hit a button more than you need to and you have to start a chain of actions all over again. Don't worry though, if you fall from a far height your companion Elika will be right there to pick you back up and put you at the last piece of solid ground you were on.

That is one of the points that will divide some gamers on this can't die. Whether it's falling from a far height or you miss press a button during a boss battle, Elika will always be there to save you. Granted you do take a bit of a penalty in the boss battles as their health will be replenished a bit. Having her always there to save you does take away some of the difficulty from the title but I was fine with it overall. I just really loved doing the parkour style action that you get to pull off with the Prince.

I also loved the ending. Make sure you stay through the end credits as the game is not over when you think it is. Overall, I highly recommend you either rent this game or buy it at a price like I did. I finished it under 12 hours and I would be hard pressed to recommend someone buy it at $60.00 though.

Next in the queue is Dead Space. I rented it back in December, but didn't get a chance to finish it but I really liked what I've played of it so I picked it up for a really good price used in an after Christmas sale.

Hope everyone else out there has been enjoying the onslaught of new games as well.