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SPLICE

June 13, 2010 Leave a comment


3 / 5

Movie genre’s are no longer as cut and dry as they used to be. There certainly was a time where a horror movie was a horror movie and that was that. Instead we see an influx of films in recent years that begin to bend and complicate the categorization of genre; in this case, SPLICE, among others of course, lend themselves to that argument. Besides the distorted sense of genre the acting was overall pretty forgettable, but is part of a bright, and respectably original concept. Overall it was an original concept with moderate execution. Despite the aforementioned genre distortion you’ll notice a lot of thematic depth for a movie that may seem like a standard horror movie on the surface. While the concept may intrigue you, it will be difficult to ignore the fact that this movie leads you where you are aren’t expecting to be led at all.

JUST CAUSE 2

June 9, 2010 2 comments

7 / 10

Just Cause 2 isn’t a game that should be on the top of your list of games to play. At the same time it shouldn’t be on the bottom. If you’re concerned about playing the original first my advice to you is to curb your curiosity entirely; it’s a terrible game. Certainly comparable to the mixed reception of Assassins Creed: tedious and unexciting. As for 2 we see some intriguing improvements, but a continuing lack of depth in what could have been an unbelievably expansive open world sandbox game.

Getting around in Just Cause 2 is a hell of a lot of fun. The convenience of releasing your parachute at any time adds to the entertaining part of traveling, coupled with the newly introduced grappling hook. As you become more familiar with the grappling hook you’ll quickly and creatively incorporate it into the way you get around, as well as in the way you take out various enemies throughout the game. If you like causing destruction and chaos this is definitely the game for you, but do prepare yourself for a game that gets very old, very fast.

Chaos is the key to furthering the story and unlocking objective missions in Just Cause 2, and it gets pretty repetitive. If you are one of those people who thought Assassin’s Creed pickpocketing missions were tedious, Just Cause 2 redefines the term. Aside from the occasional race challenges, which bear near meaningless rewards and often involve airplanes with some of the worst handling and controls you may ever encounter, the game is surprisingly limited for an open world game. If you’re not discovering a civilization, then you’re trying effortlessly to blow one up, one fuel station or army base at a time. While there are sidemissions, like joining a military faction, the objectives and missions are just as, if not more lackluster and unexciting. The run and gun system is entertaining but often annoying as there is no way to take cover. In that sense, when you are introduced to a room of baddies, your only choice is to hope for the best and pray your rambo-esque attack is enough to keep you alive. It’s almost laughable the lack of stealth this game provides you with, given the nature of the game. It would be so much easier if you could sneak attack a few guys first before throwing yourself into the open; especially considering the aforementioned inconsistency and unexpected results of run and gunning.

This whole seek and destroy concept is fun, but would of course be more effective in smaller doses. What this game forgets to do is to take and tweak aspects of other open-world games to help create a more involving and still original gaming experience. If you do decide to play it you’ll likely find yourself, more often than not, rattling off to yourself things you COULD be doing that developers neglected to include.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

7.5 / 10

It’s safe to say that in the past ten or so years Hollywood has lost a considerable amount of originality, and has plummeted into the inescapable abyss of reinvention/reinterpretation. Aside from growing acquisitions on big name and cult-followed comic books and characters, we see an influx of remakes that simply create a mockery of the way a story was originally envisioned to be told. Adding itself to that list is the new “A Nightmare on Elm St:” A film widely considered to be one of the best horror movies of all-time.

Let’s all start by giving Robert England a loud round of applause; apparently a ninth nightmare (including Freddy vs. Jason) wasn’t on the mind of the famous face of the original demented dream haunting “Freddy Krueger.” Putting on the raggedy green and red sweater and brown hat is Jackie Earle Haley. Haley does a good job; of course, he isn’t Robert England, so dismiss your expectations of seeing a similar Freddy than you’re used to. We certainly see a lot less of a “playful, almost cheesy” Freddy in Haley, as we did with England and the vision of Wes Craven. This reinvention of Krueger proves to be a much more dark and evil character, as opposed to the playful and often laughable traits of the old. Makeup is way overdone, but seemingly compliments well this new, dark, and more vengeful Freddy.

Overall we are introduced to characters we don’t care about due to terrible development. Death scenes were fairly anti-climactic seeing we had just as much connection with these characters as we would an extra with no speaking parts. And once again, Hollywood further proves that horror these days is merely shock value and blood and gore. I envision a room of executives with their suit and ties on and blackberry’s in hand discussing what previous movies and franchises we could capitalize on and simultaneously destroy.

While the movie did callback on some memorable scenes from the original, which were hardly impressive, they succeeded in excluding one of the more interesting one’s: Nancy’s boyfriend. Countless times I’ve put in the original Nightmare just to watch that one scene; not that it would have completely changed my opinion of this movie, but it was something I was sure to be included. But it didn’t surprise me that much after being thoroughly disappointed that Nancy, our Protagonist, wasn’t the first one to stir suspicion of their nightmares being frighteningly related.

This movie certainly follows the trend of all the other horror remakes this decade, putting a new face on horror. The concept of implied gore and character centricity are long gone and replaced by gratuitous gore and shock value, collectively contributing to an indirect kick in the face to the original story-tellers of some of the most widely popular horror movies of all time.