Category: Uncategorized


Time flies

Last post was like.. a month ago, right? September? ACK! So what’s been up..

Lots, and lots, and loooots of deals to be had online (Steam, GoG, etc) during the holiday season. XMas also brought 4 new Wii titles on the shelf. So I’ve been busy. For the last couple of weeks it’s been a lot of Morrowind on the PC (2$!). I’m clocking at almost 50 hours so far and having a blast. A lot of grinding to boost my specs up, and I’m starting to complete a lot more quests. I’ll probably get back to blogging about this one.

Last night I’ve completed Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay, on WiiWare. I’m a fan of the series, and I’m having a lot of fun with this recent incarnation. Light, colorful, fun. Thumbs up! I have yet to buy the 3 other chapters which have since become available, maybe I’ll ask for Nintendo point cards for my upcoming birthday in March.

Guybrush Threepwood

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Guild Wars 2 trailer

There’s been a recent flurry of activity on the Guild Wars 2 web page and Facebook page, including a brand new trailer.. Don’t get too excited yet, even the trailer is made mainly of concept art..

But I’m still looking forward to getting more !

Sad news from a great mind

A friend forwarded me these sad news

That’s one great unsung hero of the internet, in my book. Not that he’d want groupies or anything 🙂 Still sad I managed to learn too late he was giving a speech in Montreal back in 2005

-Tx.

Jughead Jones

More than you probably ever wanted to know..!

I still read Archie comics.. mostly while doing other.. err.. business.

[MOVIE REVIEWs en rafale]

Saw a bunch of flicks in the recent weeks, let’s see what lasting impression they left, if any !

Van Helsing (2004)

Ugh. I was really looking forward to this one, a crucial mistake I guess now. It looked really good in the trailers. And I must say, it really did look very good when I saw the whole thing: this is a B-movie with a 150M$ SFX budget. Twice the looks, half the flavor. Bad script. Bad characters. Baaaaaaaaaaad Dracula wannabe. We’re given beginnings of backstories and origin of the characters but they never go anywhere. It’s a CGI slugfest but ultimately I didn’t care for any of the characters, good or “evil”. I don’t need to say much more, the web is rampant with examples and reviews of just how bad this movie is. I fell asleep in the theatre.

Duplex (2003)

I love Drew Barrymore, and I love Ben Stiller. At least when the movie is bad Barrymore is eye candy while you wait for the whole thing to finish. The movie had it’s funny moments, but maybe it’s too PC – they don’t go down the torture road nearly enough. Not from the neighbor, and not for their revenge. For any who don’t know the premise, Stiller and Barrymore play a cute couple who buy a duplex for peanuts, planning to live downstairs and eventually get rid of the tenant upstairs to make one big house and live happily ever after. Of course they’re lucky enough to get the neighbor from hell who won’t move and won’t even die. Basically it’s The Money Pit with a bad old lady upstairs instead of a house breaking down on itself.

The ending plot twist is easy to guess in the first half hour if you’ve seen more than a handful of movies in the last 20 years. Stiller needs to learn to say NO to some scripts! I like the guy, but come on, his comedy radar needs to be readjusted. Some late night paid advertisements are funnier than this. Or maybe I’m just wanting too much out of a movie. I finished the screening feeling “this was ok”. A few chuckles, but mostly wasted time.

Shrek 2 (2004)

Thinking back on this one after several weeks is interesting.. I didn’t give much credit to the critics saying it relied too much on pop culture references and spoofs for it’s own good – maybe they had more experience because it looks more and more true. The movie was good, but kinda like a pretty shell with not much inside. Funny, but easy to forget. I’ll probably pick up the DVD for collecting sake, but I hope they flesh out their next project a bit more..

Paycheck (2003)

Pretty good, even if I don’t perticularly like Uma Thurman. At least it won’t add another stinker to Ben Affleck’s resume. Strong rental, maybe I’ll buy it.

Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Ugh. Fell asleep. Bland, overused jokes. Maybe because I wasn’t a fan of “Signs“. Even the director of “Airplane!” and Kevin Smith couldn’t save this one for me. Avoid.

Electra (1995)

A Gem: a super powered teen is wanted for his superhuman seed. Lol. Never mind that in the end it’s his mother that runs after him. Rent it now, leave your brain to the OFF position and enjoy! Bad acting, sounds effects, editing, it’s all there 🙂

[MOVIE REVIEWs]

Hell Boy (2004)

Like I said earlier, I’m always up for a good comic book flick. I’ve never read Hell Boy, and the trailer for the movie looked so-so to me, but my gf wanted to see it bad so we went (would have waited for a rental..). No real complaints but far from the best I’ve seen… I didn’t care for the whole Nazi setup (I guess it must have been in the comic – if it wasn’t, shoot the moron who though it up for a recent movie.. but since it deals with the origin of the character, my guess is it’s from the source material..). The was a lot, and I do mean a _lot_ of scenes that could have been shorter or cut entirely. The movie is some 2 hours long, could easily clock at 90 minutes with some editing imho. Not that it was bad per say, but it would have been a lot tighter and left a better taste in my mouth going out of the screening room (or maybe it was the large purple ‘slush’ I had..).

The characters were good. The makeup simply amazing. The effects juste nicely dosed. With some slight modifications it would have been really a great movie to me, but as is I can only say ‘hmmm.’ Rental? an excellent choice. Big screen? if there’s nothing more interesting to you. Buy? Probably not.

The Last Samurai (2003)

The first trailers for this one had me cringing – I mean Tom Cruise as a samurai ?? wtf? But the lukewarm reception the flick had on the big screen made me wonder and look a bit more into it.. And then it looked better and better the more I was seeing of the flick (of course that made me wonder if I was seeing _all_ the good bits?). So I wanted to see it. My gf too. But suddenly it stopped playing anywhere in the area and we had missed it. D’oh!

So we saw it as a rental on DVD last night. Damn I regret missing it at the cineplex! It was simply awesome. I’m a Japan affectionado, been there once (so far) and loved everything in the movie. The whole thing was done clearly with a desire to stay true to the real Samurai spirit and there was evident painstaking attention to details everywhere. From what I could tell from my rudimentary knowledge of the Japanese language, everything was excellent and even Cruise put a lot of effort in his pronunciation. I didn’t think he could do a good job in a true samurai picture, but the guy has been doing his homework, plus a lot of training, and it shows. I mean it still looks odd by moment to see Mr Hollywood with the white smile a mile long in the middle of rural 1800s Japan, but I’d be hard pressed right now to cast someone else in the role having seen what he’s done with it. Amazing.

The story takes place in Japan in the late 1800s. Emperor Meiji is young, wants to modernize Japan with the knowledge and ways of the West, but is caught between the businessmen in his advisors and the last Samurai at his service. Cruise is hired by the Japanese to train an army to combat the Rebels. I’ll just leave it at that.

There was _some_ areas I wish they’d go to in more details, dealing with Cruise’s back story. He has a lot of nightmares from his ‘previous’ life in the american army fighting the Indians, but his relationship with the tribes is left to stipulation – was he just a soldier (a captain actually) disgusted by what his army was doing, or did he have contact with the ennemy somehow ? It looks like a parralel is made with the situation in Japan but it’s never fully exposed. I haven’t watched all the extras, maybe it was in the deleted scenes.

Technically the DVD is excellent. Vibrant colors, excellent surround sound. (I always love when sound from the back speakers make me check if there’s something making noise in the next room..) Loaded with extras, included on a second dvd. I might wait a bit for a price drop because the purse is tight at the moment, but I’m definitely buying this one to add to my collection. Just a must.

[MOVIE REVIEW]

The Punisher (2004)

He slices, he dices, he kicks a lot of ass – he’s The Punisher! I’m very happy about comic book movies in the last couple of years. Ever since the first X-Men people finally realized that comics can make good movies if properly done! Ages ago it was a lot more difficult without CGI (especially for series with a lot of fancy super powers) and led to some sub par movies (Toxic The Ravager? Howard The Duck? lol!). Now that they get proper treatment, respect and even ticket sales, it’s maybe time to explore some more niche series. Enters The Punisher.

Frank Castle isn’t a mutant. He doesn’t have super powers. He can’t leap over tall building or regenerate quickly from wounds (ok maybe that could be discussed but we’ll say it’s metabolism). He’s just very, very, very pissed off. [No he’s not, explained in an excellent scene in the movie!] His whole family was killed. Wife and kid ? Not enough! Parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, _all_ his family is executed at a family reunion in the sun. I guess it’s better than dying from lack of food with your toungue glued to a post at the North Pole. Anyway. After the execution, as you might guess or have seen from the previews, Castle survives and goes about punishing those who did him wrong.

And he’s darn good at it.

The movie is rating for 16 years-old and over where I live – usually movies rated R in the US get a 13 rating here so I was really surprised. But there’s a reason – some parts are rather gory (yeah!). The whole flick is full of really dark humour too. Nice explosive mix. If you like movies going a bit over the top and explore dark paths a bit more this is for you. A friend of mine confirmed it followed closely the character development of the serie series and limited series of the comic book, always a good sign. I liked the book without collecting it, the main interest being a bit one-dimensional for my tastes.. But when you just want action and a lot of killing, Frank is the man for the job.

The flick is 2 hours long but it goes by in a flash. The sound is excellent, and I really liked he casting except maybe for a couple of details: Travolta could have easily been replaced (he was a lot better in Swordfish), Thomas Jane always reminds me too much of Christopher Lambert, and Travolta’s best friend always made me think of U2’s Edge. Go figure. Oh yeah and there’s also a hitman from Memphis who looks like Wayne Newton a bit! There’s dark humour dripping from most scenes, almost to the point of making you wonder if you’re supposed to be laughing.. Excellent.

So I really liked it, it was much better than what I was expecting from the trailers. Really happy I saw it despite them. I would sure love to meet some marketing ppl making those trailers to give them a piece of my mind…

[CURRENTLY PLAYING]

It’s funny re-reading old entries here.. I’m still enjoying MTG:O……kind of. The game itself is as good as ever and I manage to have fun playing; but the whole Online thing is starting to get to me — I’m loosing faith in the staff and until further notice I’m not pumping any more $$ into it. I have more than enough cards to make casual decks anyway (about 6600) so that’ll get me my fix from time to time. I loved leagues but even that is down now! ridiculous..

I’m still wondering if I want to sell off some cards to make complete sets and redeem them. I nowadays play a lot more ‘paper’ magic at the office than I do online. But I think I’d regret that.. down the road it’s a lot easier to lose paper ppl (moves, switching jobs, loosing interest) so I won’t cash my online chips in just yet.. My local comic shop just started doing FNM too so I might give that a shot..

On the PC side, I’m currently having a blast with the second NeverWinter Nights expansion, Hordes Of The Underdark. I’ve used the same char thru all the official modules (the XP in the 1st expansion was good even if the story could have been a lot more interesting) and now, simply put, I kick ass. Mind you, I’m probably not ‘uber’ by any means – I don’t know the ins and outs of AD&D character creation and I’d bet I’d killed pretty easy by other players on the net – but I’m having a lot of fun killing drows and beholders, and listening to my heanmen’s chatter.. I’m a Fighter(15)/Rogue(5)/Champion Of Torm(5) mix and it’s pretty solid IMHO. I think I’m about half-way thru the module (would be surprise to come anywhere close to the Lvl 40 cap) and hoping it doesn’t end – that’s always a good sign.

On the console side, I bought Bomberman Jetters for the GameCube, at 30$CAN. The single player game looks neat (if a bit simple) and I didn’t own any Bomberman version so the 4-player classic mode mayhem just screamed BUY ME! Oh the hours I spent laying out bombs on the NES and TurboGFX versions..

Might go see The Punisher this weekend, maybe I’ll come back with a review.

[CURRENTLY PLAYING] M:TGO, Counter Strike (got my own server, check c-strike.kicks-ass.org) and Phantasy Star Online Ep. 1 and 2. Damn I haven’t written anything here for so long…

[RANT] Movies out this summer… Anyone else thinking most things coming out on the silver screen is rather “blah” ? Pretty much only SpiderMan and Austin Powers 3 stood out for me.. Guess it gives me time to catch up on DVDs I haven’t rented from blockbuster yet and the few I bought and haven’t watched.. With the price is theatres now, I’m thinking more than twice about going there instead of buying a dvd that will last me a lifetime!

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