29/August/2009

Stewart Miller has quite possibly the worst track list ever. The Macarena, followed by Who Let The Dogs Out? Surely it couldn't get any worse.

And then the kids were singing along.

 

Watched The Transporter 2. I enjoyed the first one because it didn't really take itself seriously - there were a huge gap between the action at the start and at the end, so it almost had a pretension of realism in the middle, but really, it was just hiding how ludicrous it was. The sequel, meanwhile, had very little quiet moments, so it was practically one long stream of complete screwball antics. I'd almost like to equate it as a Saturday morning cartoon interpretation of the original movie, and then made into a film again - it's that crazy.

See, the original movie was just a basic kidnapping plot - bunch of Chinese people being bundled into trucks and convoyed around the place. The sequel is another kidnapping plot, except this time it's a kid belonging to a rich couple, and the real plot behind it is they injected the kid with a virus where everyone who breathes the air around him also gets the virus, and rampant death will ensue. Because the kid's dad is a big cheese in the medicine industry, you see. Sure, it could happen, maybe, but it just emits this vibe of being a cartoon plot they stretched out for eighty minutes.

The real reason it's like a cartoon is just... everything. Frank the transporter and the French Cop guy, the only returning characters, feel much more shallow than their original representations - Frank really, really emphasises his "rules", much more than I remember him doing the first time, and there's a lot more emphasis on his car, while I seem to recall the first movie kind of forgot about it halfway through. The French cop guy, meanwhile, spends his time being explicit comic relief and cooking stuff for total strangers, and the kooky interaction of semi-mercenary and cop has all been ditched, as now he's just there to look up stuff on the computer for him. And Frank did crazy, crazy shit in the first movie, no denying, but the sequel ditches even the 11 notch and cranks it up to 237 or something. Beating the shit out of a monsoon of goons armed with merely a fire hose, driving a jetski onto a highway to catch a criminal on a bus, taking on a whole army of people armed with swords and axes and still beating them - let's not forget he fucking drops a boat on a guy's head! Also, honest to God, his car performs miracles, as he somehow flips it over in midair to detach a bomb from its underside and lands without a scratch, because heaven forbid a cool car get damaged! I mean, I could get behind it in F-Zero GX because... well, it's F-Zero GX, and Captain Falcon is goddamned ridiculous, and in that instance it was a gigantic skip-sized bomb on top of his car, rather than a VCR-sized bomb on the underside of his car that was somehow knocked off without even cutting into the underside. Jesus.

I almost forgot about the scene where Frank evades the police by driving off the top of a parking lot building, flies into an empty building and stops before it slides off the edge.

And then the evil girl blows up a helicopter with one round of UZI fire. Doesn't damage it and cause it to explode upon crashing, but simply explode in midair.

The movie is pretty fucking absurd.

And I have to say I like it that way.

At first it's just... honestly, what the hell? It's like... you think the movie can't just break the laws of physics any further, and then it says "that sounds like a dare!" and throws you a moment that... elicits some kind of expression of bafflement. And then it does it again and again and again.

And I think I love it.

In theory, the first movie is more 'filling,' since the characters are developed better, the plot is at least in the boundaries of reality, and since Frank actually gets a little scratched a few times, it almost implies he's still human. It's a film that has a solid beginning, middle and end, and is pretty satisfying for a stupid action movie. The sequel is more or less just increasing amount of insanity that eventually blows its load and has a kinda wonky climax. Fighting in a plane that's plummeting out of control is pretty rad, but it didn't feel as intense as the convoy battle, and the ending just seems to pop out of nowhere - so, what, they can successfully make a perfect cure out of what's floating in the bloodstream of some dead guy? Given everything else and the plot it's working with, I guess it'd be hypocritical to complain. It's a fun ol' romp but don't expect any remote resemblance of intelligence anywhere in it.

But, hey, it's got Keith David! He completely disappears for the second half of the film, but he's in the film! And that makes everything alright.

 

Also, hey, look what I found!

Master Splinter. Naked, filthy, and smelling like crap. I was helping the folks cut the hedge and this was found, as well as a couple of toy cars. This seems to mean that the figure has been sitting out there for over a decade, and given the fact I've probably owned the figure for quite a few years before that... yikes. Sorry, Splinter. If anything, at least he's still intact. My original Donatello figure from years and years ago was missing a leg before he mysteriously vanished. He's probably in a ditch in Tijuana by now.

 


27/August/2009

I watched Carrie. Holy shit!

I admit I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew it was Stephen King and knew it was about a girl with mental powers who ended up in a burning school at one point or another, but I admit I wasn't expecting it to be so good. What that says about my opinion of Stephen King or film adaptations of his work is unknown.

So Carrie's got this wacko mother, right? And she's not treated very well by her, she's not popular at school and has no friends and, more or less, she ain't happy. And it turns out she's got telekinesis! And, really, the first hour is basically about the unpleasantness of Carrie's life and how it almost looks like it's going somewhere good for a change, and then bam, the last half hour has everything going to hell. Cue rampage and subsequent killing of her mother and then tearing her house apart!

(does anyone ever trust me with accurately summarising a movie?)

I quite liked how it didn't follow a typical horror movie formula - I mean, you could very well have axed out the telekinesis stuff altogether and just replaced it with something her mother misinterprets, and the movie could very well have rolled along under its own steam, but crazy murder death psychotic rampages are always a bonus. The schoolmates Carrie has are almost comically malicious, admittedly - at first I thought the bucket above the prom stage was filled with gasoline, and they were going to friggin' set fire to her or something, but it turned out to be pig's blood. I'm not sure if that's actually better or worse. And then, after the whole place blows, two kids try to run her down in a car. Going from class prank to intended murder felt a bit crazy, and the fact Carrie responds to it by making the car explode just seems to be proportionally acceptable.

I've read that some reviews said the dramatic scenes were over-the-top and thus became rather campy, but personally, I think being over-the-top is awesome and I loved it that way. Carrie's religious fanatic mother wouldn't have had as much of an impact if she were subdued - she's got to be crazy to get the point across. And admittedly, the sheer frenzy of the prom onslaught is memorable and captivating because of how batshit insane it is. The poor jolly English teacher getting zapped due to a simple microphone scuffle, and the kind gym teacher getting squished for no apparent reason; I obviously have no experience with fires, fire hoses or any related paraphernalia, but are fire hoses really strong enough to throw people comically over tables and apparently kill them? I'm sure hoses from fire engines are like that, but for whatever reason I thought the kind in buildings were a little weaker. But, still, the fact remains that for being a rather mellow and quiet first hour, it just blows its load and goes kookoo for a really stupidly satisfying climax. And just when you think Carrie's house being pulled into hell was the clincher, they pull a really cheap scare right at the end! It's the cheapest of cheapy-cheap tactics ever, but by god, it's incredible. I love over-the-top.

See, if I ever become an actor (heaven forbid!) and if someone called me a large ham, I would totally embrace it. It would be the ultimate compliment.

 


25/August/2009

Oy vey, apologies for that kerfluffle back then. As FlyingOmelette explained on her site, some malicious code made its way into the site and shit happened. Don't know what exactly caused it, but if you went onto the site in the past few days and weren't blocked from entering, get yourself some virus scans all up on your machine.

What did I get up to in that time? ... nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Come back next time and I might not have been a lazy ass in the meantime!

 


21/August/2009

I forgot that Duke Nukem Forever is cancelled. Thus, I realised I have no PC games to look forward to whatsoever.

 


19/August/2009
I spent an hour today skimming through old VHS tapes, seeing if there's anything worth salvaging from them. A lot of them are old Tarzan and monster movies my dad recorded years ago, including the nudie flick Tarzan The Ape Man (oh, dad, you rascally rogue!), along with plenty of old Ghostbusters and Conan cartoons. All very entertaining.
I love VHS tapes. There's just... something raw but heart-warming about them. There's no menu or proper way of keeping track of anything, all you've got to by is the memory of what you recorded. One tape, for instance, had The Valley of Gwangi at the beginning, followed by an episode of Ghostbusters (Poultrygeist, which is the first time I ever saw it - Steve was positively terrified of it when he was younger and had nightmares about the monster in the episode, but I never saw it so although I respected each person having different fears, I was still thinking "haha he's scared by a chicken." Well it's pretty friggin' frightening, let me tell you. At least in appearance from the eyes of a child), and then it just seems to be a long stream of stuff from Channel4, back when it could almost be considered wholesome. I mean, The Wonder Years? I had no idea Channel4 would have shown anything like that; they had cartoons in those days, sure, but something as syrupy sweet as The Wonder Years is just ridiculous. Let it be known I have no knowledge of The Wonder Years besides hearing about it on the likes of X-Entertainment. But, yeah, VHS tapes. They just have this personal vibe about them, y'know - you can record anything and bung them all onto one tape, and it just adds feels cute and quaint, y'know. Plus they were always so mysterious - if you didn't know who had last recorded something with it, who knows what would come next! It wasn't a surprise to have a tape with episodes of Taz-Mania and then have a random X-Files episode stuck in the middle.
Practically every single tape that had commercial breaks had Noel Edmonds in it. Seriously. I mean, I know he did Noel's House Party which is where Mr. Blobby came from, and aware he was at least semi-popular in that era before hitting back with Deal Or No Deal, but I really wasn't aware he was on television every waking hour.

 


14/August/2009

When was the last time I actually reported on game opinions as I played them? Last time I recall is when I got New Super Mario Bros., and I can't even remember when that was.

So I got playing a bit of Castlevania and Kirby I got yesterday. I only played twenty minutes at the most of Portrait of Ruin, just to get a flavour of it, and it doesn't seem too bad. Don't know how well I'll fare, mind you - I think why I loved Symphony of the Night was because, being on a TV, it was a perfect sit-down-and-play-for-an-hour game, whereas handhelds... I never really like sitting down with those for long unless I'm on holiday or something. Still, graphics are nice, areas look interesting and hey, female protagonist! None too fussed on the anime art style, though - I'm not much of a complainer about anime style, but the artwork in Symphony was beautiful, fantastic gothic style pieces that fit well with the character designs, but Portrait's stuff is very bland, no life or spark to it. I'm pretty sure everyone's complained about that for the past two years or so, though. The game itself seems good! Can't judge too well from twenty minutes, mind you, but it looks like it's got potential.

Squeak Squad is okay. It's no better or worse than the other Kirby games, but... eh. I guess since I haven't bought a DS game for myself in two years I should be getting something fresh and exciting, but it's essentially Nightmare in Dreamland or Amazing Mirror all over again. It's no worse in quality than them, but there's nothing to really make it stand out - the touch screen gimmickry is pointless and the sole new ability I tried out, Animal, was pretty clunky. It ain't bad, but it ain't special, y'know. I've leant it to my brother, but if he isn't enamoured with it either I'll probably just sell it.

 

Also got a more hands-on play with Wii Sports Resort since my brother was over today, though didn't have a chance to try them all. Swordplay is definitely the best one available; duelling, when both players actually know how to block, is actually pretty good! The timer obviously limits how long you can be tactical, but it definitely adds more fun and strategy to it than my previous experience with just waggling. The single-player mode is also brilliant, ploughing through tons of opponents on a variety of fields; like Tanks in Wii Play, I definitely feel with a fair amount more variety and expanding on the concept it could be made into a standalone release, but as it is I'd be unwilling to shell out full price for one game. Bowling remains good, and I'm quite partial to 100 pin bowling. Table Tennis is probably better than the original Tennis, if just for the fact it doesn't last as long. Air Sports looks fun, but since my only experience is with the dogfight, I can hardly get used to the flight controls in a professional manner when I'm being shot in the ass; the exploring mode looks decent and reminiscent of Pilotwings. Archery isn't bad.

Five games out of twelve is all there is for me, though. Golf still blows chunks, Canoeing is balls, Cycling is mega balls, Frisbee is omega balls, and Basketball is just asking for an easy pun. I haven't played Wakeboarding and I have only the scantest experience with Power Cruising's Slalom mode, and it was pretty unexciting, not to mention with awkward controls. I really wonder who thought Cycling was a good idea - why do you try and recreate a leg-powered sport with your arms? I haven't tried the Balance Board, but surely it could've been used for Cycling, even as an alternate control scheme or something? Frisbee is just ridiculous, and no matter how much motion sensing one packs into a little adapter, I can't see the accurate curving throw of the human hand being recreated accurately for a long time; just like how even with no experience with golf, I'm pretty sure I could measure a shot better in reality than with ridiculous motion nonsense.

Swordplay is tempting, but I wouldn't shell out 43 for it, and even 20 just for a MotionPlus is crazy steep.

 

Galvatron and I also watched The Howling, though by "watched" it was more "had ITV1 on our TVs and commented about it on MSN Messenger," which we occasionally do. I just saw the title and pointed it out to him, and wasn't really expecting much more than a few giggles, but I quite enjoyed it. I really paid no attention to the story (I need to sit down and watch a movie to properly enjoy it, but as usual I was multi-tasking with other crap) so I had to frequently ask Galv for plot reminders, but the effects were great! Directed by the guy who did Gremlins, I really wouldn't know what all was involved in the making of the werewolves. There was costumes, make-up, stop-motion models (which Galv didn't like but I thought were neat) and what must've been large-scale puppets or something; it was great stuff. Some of the werewolves were pretty hit and miss, though - one long transformation scene got a fantastic werewolf while the final scene, what should've been a dramatic transformation on live television was merely a shot of a truly awful face mask, not even seeing the werewolf on stage or anything. It looked like of those fluffy short-snout doggies than a werewolf. The 'true' werewolves were fantastic puppets and stop-motion beasts, while there were 'halfway' werewolves which were basically hairy people whose cheeks and foreheads randomly bulged, which I thought was really silly. I mean, I can get behind bulging and contorting when transforming, but these guys were doing it like it was going out of style. Bulging like frogs with straws up their asses.

Highlights!

<Galvatron> woah dude
<Ragey>  think i missed that. were they sucking face?
<Galvatron> tits
<Ragey> ohhhhh snap

 

<Galvatron> that's a pretty messed up way for a hand to die
<Ragey> is that arm pulling a Halloween 3 and bursting into maggots?
<Ragey> oh wait it's just spasming

 

We also watched another movie.

<Galvatron> also have you still got ITV on
<Ragey> no, changing back
<Galvatron> ALIEN SIEGE
<Ragey> ALIEN SIEGE
<Galvatron> BRAD JOHNSON

<Ragey> ERIN ROSS
<Ragey> THREE NAMES TOO LONG TO TYPE
<Ragey> AND CARL WEATHERS
<Galvatron> are we going to watch this

 

I didn't find it all that enticing.

<Ragey> about time we saw that spaceship again
<Ragey> I was almost worried there'd be no aliens
<Galvatron> dood it looks so real

 

I mostly watched it because ALIEN FUCKIN' SIEGE (what a title!) and thus was expecting awesome alien antics, preferably awesome alien antics with terrible CGI, but... well.

<Ragey> I wonder what the aliens will look like!
<Galvatron> is that an alien
<Ragey> the beardy guy?
<Galvatron> I think these aliens are humans

<Galvatron> just with blue tac on or something
<Ragey> ohhh maaaaaaaaan
<Ragey> disappointment of the century
<Ragey> either make them totally blue or don't colour them at all, guys

 

It lasted until 2:45, but I gave up an hour before that, though I was hardly paying attention after the alien ruse was up. Fuckin' forehead aliens, man.

 


13/August/2009

Turned out to be six days, not a week! How about that. Life's just full of surprises.

I went to Dungiven. Dinky little cottage house, really in the middle of the country. The kind of country where there's only room for one car on the road so if someone wants past, battle to the death. The mega-country. I mean, I thought my grandmother lived in the country, but at least there's lanes and road signs there. Dungiven, meanwhile, only had the most rickety of fences to separate you from plummeting down into steep chasms. When I wasn't constantly afraid of imminent death, it wasn't too bad!

For once, I bought no figures at all. None, nada, zip. But I actually bought a video game! Two of them! For the Nintendo DS! You would not believe how bizarre that feels. I can't even remember the last time I did that. TRANSFORMERS HAS MADE ME A BROKEN MAN. They're Kirby Squeak Squad and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Haven't played them yet but got them for 10 each. I was going to get Luminous Arc (2 games for 20 deal, see) but I'm on a Castlevania kick, and as little as I care about new Kirby games these days, I... yeah, I'm just a horrible, thoughtless fanboy.

I also got playing Wii Sports Resort at my brother's place (the offer was allegedly "trade in 2 games, get it free!", so he traded in Ultimate Board Games and Red Steel for it and, of course, still had to pay 20. Fuck the world!), and it's a better package than the original from the looks of things. Can't imagine myself getting it (20 for the MotionPlus? whaaaat) but it was enjoyable in a stupid, brainless manner. I was expecting the sword playing game to be elegant and requiring good skills and reflexes, but it was just Waggle City USA. Amusing.

 


07/August/2009

I'm heading away for a week on holiday to the countryside, nice little cottage. In all honesty, I'm still struggling to realise there actually is a holiday; it was booked, like, last week. Not last month, not last year, not anytime that would give me time to actually realise it's a holiday, just "we're going on holiday in a week!" and I'm left to go "oh, okay!" Isn't life a chuckle. Unless Galvatron decides to conquer Romania while I'm away he should still be around to entertain you all, so hopefully the site won't be totally dead.

 

...

 

oh jesus i just realised we're already a week into august D:

 


05/August/2009

Saw Land of the Lost. Aside from the Poopsmith's Halloween costume, I have no familiarity with the source material, and from the brief trailers I was expecting no more than comedy antics and dinosaurs!!, so I left happy.

Is there really much reason to explain the plot for something like this? Three people end up in the land of the lost through the power of science, there's weird stuff co-existing in it, and there's a Sleestak who claims he's trying to stop some other Sleestaks from conquering the world, but whoops, he's really the one doing it. Yeah, don't get worked up on the spoiler, it's practically obvious from the get-go and when the plot is first introduced it's entirely forgotten in favour of creature craziness until like the last half hour, so it's not even that major. In fact, I almost feel the movie, much like Wall-E, could've done just fine without the 'proper' plot and just having the crew try to get home, but whatever, at least it remained entertaining.

That might sound fantastic (in the 'fantasy' sense of the word and not the 'totally bodacious' manner), but the film's primary emphasis is on comedy. I'm not too familiar with Will Ferrell; I barely remember his role in Austin Powers, I've never properly sat down and watched Zoolander even though Channel4 shows it like three times a year it seems, and although my brother loves Anchorman, I've never seen it. I do know that a lot of people have a huge hate-on for him. I'm hardly a man of intelligent tastes (look around!) so I assume it's just a case of if you don't like his comedy the first time you won't like it any other time, but I thought the jokes were great. Some lacked punch, but some were those horrible drawn-out extending laughs where you're sort of like "I seriously hope I don't suffocate in a movie theatre because that would be fucking embarrassing;" I think my dad was almost like that during the, uh, urine sequence. Pro-tip: Second doses make matters worse. I was pretty surprised how adult it was for something rated 12A - a running joke of Holly's breasts being fondled, plenty of references to shit and piss, an ice cream salesman being torn apart, a dinosaur exploding, and so on. With Will Ferrell around I imagine it's no surprise, but 12A seems pretty low.

But what I really liked was how, sure, it's comedy and silly antics and getting doped up on bizarro coconuts, but there's a great blend of fantasy as well. I mean, the basic concept! Despite all the immature humour (that totally appeals to me, I'm afraid), it's still a wonderfully, vividly designed world with fantastic imagery. The simple image of seeing a desert with half a motel, a stretch Hummer and a Spanish galleon all buried in sand is just... cool, y'know? Also very much like that one scene in the Fist of the North Star movie with the cruise liner sticking out of the skyscraper. The credits animation revisits all the areas seen, and it almost feels like a video game - the twisty forests, the crystalline caves, the mysterious temples, the friggin' pterodactyl volcano - it's like a video game, complete with giant enemy crab! I think comedies that have outlandish settings, be it fantasy or sci-fi, sometimes they get distracted with fully being fantasy/sci-fi or fully being comedy, but Land of the Lost, kept a very nice balance.

I admit I was expecting the movie to be pretty popular; when we went to the cinema the line was humongous, and I was expecting the theatre to be packed and seats being hard to find, but it was like twelve people tops. I can't even think of a big name movie that's newly out - Transformers has been out for, what, two months? I'm pretty sure Harry Potter has been out for weeks, and, honestly, is anyone really excited about G.I. Joe enough to come in huge swarms? Unless it has Serpentor I'm not interested, though I will admit the ninja action looks good and I'm mildly curious to see what Christopher Eccleston's like as Destro, but otherwise eh. The film's being torn apart by critics it seems, but I can't remember the last time I actually cared.

So, yeah, yet another example of what a shallow individual I am. Tune in next time when I say that Aliens in the Attic looks like a timeless classic!

Actually I think it just looks like Small Soldiers all over again, but anything with a granny performing a shoryuken can't be too terrible. Prove me wrong!

 


04/August/2009

<Galvatron> plus the wiki is run by loads and loads of people
<Galvatron> most of whom are fags am i rite lol
<Ragey> I wouldn't know about that lolol (proof plz)
<Ragey> or should i say citation needed
<Ragey> Oh god I want to punch myself in the face for saying that.

 


03/August/2009

Watched The Transporter. I remember being up in the countryside back when it was first released and seeing posters for it in a shopping centre, but otherwise I knew nothing about it prior to watching, and had no other thoughts or expectations of it.

The plot is really, really thin, even for an 85 minute long film. So there's this guy, right? And he does transporting of illicit services, because he's a transporter, and he breaks his own rule of "never look in the package" and finds this girl, yeah? So he delivers it fine but the guys find out he looked in the package so they try and kill him, and there's this French detective guy who talks about bread. Antics ensue!

The film almost appeared to have some delusion of reality at the beginning, but with the ridiculous car antics and its silly gadgets and the fact it flies off a bridge onto the top of a car carrier, you're given an early warning that it's very daft. All belief of realism is thrown out during the climax where it seems to be a series of dares regarding "how much fighting can we squeeze into these tiny corridors?" from just simple hallways to between boxes to between buses to inside a bus, and although that theme stops there, it just gets progressively more ridiculous. The main character beats the shit out of three people with just his shirt, there's an extended fight scene set entirely on an oil slick with ridiculous Looney Tunes tripping and stumbling, and the manner in which he takes care of the trailer convoy is just plain outlandish.

But that's why I love it. That and the very boss soundtrack. Plus it's got Farmer from In The Name Of The King as the main character! And that vampire who got his hands chopped off repeatedly in Blade? He plays a really slimy villain guy! It's like a combination of things I stupidly admire - cartoon violence, great music and actors from bad films.