July 2008

07/31/2008

It’s Kinda Like The Family Guy Of Video Games

by Matthew Hawkins

Before going into EA’s latest NYC visit yesterday, I gotta tell you all about the bar me and the boys went to the night prior.

Just $4 For A Jack & Coke?!

After some Indian with Joe and Mike, the plan was to continue our drinking from earlier in the evening (we always kick things off at Grassroots), but had no idea where to go. Then Joe brought up a dive joint he went to earlier in the week with some other folks, and… when most people say such-and-such place is a dive, it’s generally an exaggeration. Well, the seats were completely covered with, and therefore made of, duct tape. The rest of the interior? Just as dingy. Or should I say classy? Lots of dirty Heineken wood cutouts. The jukebox? Apparently, it’s only capable of playing Bruce Springsteen. I won’t even bother try describing the bathroom. The centerpiece of it all is the bar itself, a half circle with a tiny old man in the middle, dolling out the drinks. Joe was not exaggerating when he said the old man was completely incomprehensible; no matter what you ordered, he would annoyed by it, and then quietly mumble to himself. But it doesn’t matter cuz everything is DIRT CHEAP. Should I also mention that this place is right on St. Mark’s, one of the busiest streets when it comes to bars and young folks out for a drink, but was completely dead? Basically, the joint was indeed as dive-y as they come, and it is officially my new favorite watering hole!

Later on, Mooney joined us; he had dinner with Katie earlier in the evening, and I thought she was gonna join us, but instead opted to go home and check on the cat, as well as leave us alone to have “GUY’S NIGHT”. Anyway, what the hell do we talk about anyway? Well…

- As much as I respect to Mike’s opinions, I had to let him know that every time he says something, especially when it relates to movies or books, I remind myself that the dude likes Family Guy.
- Joe brought up an awesome idea, an updated spin on American Psycho, taking place in Willamsburg. Since hipsters is today’s equivalent of the yuppie.
- I noted how Katie though Christian Bale looked really good in Dark Knight, and also mentioned how she digs the dude who plays James Bond these days. Which was nice to hear, since I’m always going on and on about how much I want to bang actresses that look like they’re 13 years old. Note: Ellen Page maybe look 13, but she’s like 22 or something, and Emma Watson is (finally) legal.
- Related: advice that I should constantly shower Katie with jewelry and flowers.
- Bets on when I’m going to kill the cat.
- Related: advice on how to keep my various little naked 12 year old plastic figures from being knocked over by the cat.

Oh, and while out on the street to check my messages, I ran into this guy…

… His name is Brett, who among many other things, is a t-shirt model for Chopping Block. Are we friends? Not really… but I ALWAYS run into the guy. Usually at shows or parties. And now I can also say we both worked at the same place, technically. Anyway, I found him on the street, coming out of another bar next door. He was drinking with some pals, before flying off to Switzerland! His wife got a gig there, and will be there for the next two years. Which means I won’t be running into him at the New York Comic Con or DigitalLife till 2010!

White Bread. LOTS Of White Bread.

Oh, I guess I should mention that Katie and I went to the diner that just opened up. It’s okay. The food is decent (especially the onion rings, which are clearly homemade and not the usual diner far) though kinda over-priced. The service is thus far great, but that’s always the case for some new eating establishment. Hopefully it won’t totally suck in one month’s time. We’ve actually been there twice; the day of the grand opening and last night, because we were too busy to cook (hence why we’ve both been looking forward to it for so long), and each time it was packed. About the other customers/my neighborhoods: Christ was a collection of uptight, humorless white folks.

I Should Mention This Upfront: Didn’t Play Any Celebrity Sports Showdown. Sorry.

Anyway, onto video games: EA was back in town yesterday, for their yearly Christmas in July event, and I got to check out a bunch of things. Including…

Remember Ready 2 Rumble? Yeah, me too. And since Nintendo seems to be taking their sweet ass time with Punch Out for the Wii, here’s the next best thing: FaceBreaker. It’s a cartoony, arcadey boxing title that’s about as far removed from EA’s usual boxing fare, Fight Night, as you can get (though its from the same team behind part 3); it’s a total button masher that relies on combos and wacky antics from it wacky cast of characters. The roster includes a Russian ultra heavyweight (imagine Drago from Rocky 4 but bigger and badder), a VooDoo practitioner, a fat dude in a karate outfit, a crazy guy in a straightjacket, some lady assassin… you get the point.

Controls were easy to get into; you have a basic high and low blow, plus a dedicated haymaker button, along with a throw (the person in the corner) move, all of which can be easily chained together to create combos, with lots of them taking the fight into the air. Each character also has his or her own finishing move. Graphics were pretty decent, especially when it came to… I guess my favorite part is the create-a-character mode where one can import a picture of themselves and map it onto a character model. Some might have already seen Peter Moore in the game, which was apparently created with the same exact method that players will be utilizing; the producer simply found a pic online, uploaded it to EA’s servers (the same basic process is already in use for some Tiger Woods game), brought it into the game and manipulated it with the authoring tools, and that was pretty much it. I next got to see Peter Moore get the shit beat out of him, with action slowing down to show a nice zoomed in shot of Moore’s eyes crossing and bulging out of his skull, along with bruises covering the rest of his face… it was so good that it was kinda creepy!

Anyhow, the demo was just released today on XBLA and PSN, so download it for yourself and see what you think.

The next highlight was Rock Band 2. Gotta say, after chatting with the folks behind both Rock Band and Guitar Hero, I must confess to loving their rivalry. Both camps are extremely passionate about what they do, as well as competitive as all hell. And who are the real winners? Us the players of course. The more they keep pushing themselves, the better the games are. And as impressed I was with Guitar Hero World Tour, which I checked out a few weeks ago, I was just as blown away by the new Rock Band. Also, it was just cool seeing the folks behind the game once again; they’re just awesome people.

Anyway, from the top: not too much has changed. Everything that was there before is back, simply tightened up and enhanced. Nothing was broken, hence the lack of any dramatic changes. There is a “shitload” of new songs things time around, plus the ability to import all the songs from the first edition, by literally ripping its content and have it rest on the hard drive plus be listed side by side with the new stuff (needless to say that this is a Xbox 360/PS3 feature…. though I was told that they’ve got “something” planned for Wii owners). All the downloadable songs from before can be brought into the mix, and playlists can be created. Is there a music creation system mode as well? No… The Rock Band team seems to have a completely different philosophy about such things, though that’s not to say that they haven’t considered it. Though if they were to do it, they just want to do it right from the get-go.

As for the instruments, I got the chance to check out the new guitar, and its even better than before. The neck felt nice and solid, and the fret buttons don’t click whatsoever. The strum button was exactly the same, but I was told that its being worked on (I know some folks have complained that its too mushy, but I’ve never had a problem). For those who have a problem with the sound and picture synching up, since visuals produced from some high end projected sets are often not in time with the audio (a problem that us standard def players never have!), there’s actually a tiny camera and mic built into them that is held up to the game to read information and set the timing. That’s neat! As for the drums, the pads are quieter when struck and can detect velocity. It’s also wireless, which is really neat. The footpad has been replaced with one made of metal, to avoid breakage, and that’s probably the best part. Plus the standard drum set allows for expansion for additional pads, from any professional electronic drum manufacturer in fact, to help build it up to the level of the super deluxe $300 model that folks have the option of buying into. There’s also additional game modes being built into the game that allows one to truly learn the drums; one can’t really learn how to play a real guitar with game’s axes, but its actually possible with its drums, since they’re not so far removed from the real thing.

I asked about the Japanese version of the game, and how Q Entertainment was helping out, and was delighted to hear that it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility to download and play tracks from that version of the game here in America! God, the chance to either play either songs by Boris or just Q-Entertainment’s very own Keiichi Sugiyama would be SO fucking amazing Apparently some of the music from other localized versions, primarily Europe, is currently available in the States, but only stuff that might be remotely interesting to our tastes. I also asked what the chances are for Killing Joke to appear in the future, and they’re basically gonna look into for me!

The final really interesting thing I checked out was Mirror’s Edge, the first person game featuring the ultra realistic female lead character (ummm… I still have to say “whatever” on that one… its still a stereotypical female, just one that’s not nearly as annoying or offensive) and ultra realistic character movement. That last bit is definitely no bullshit. When I heard that lots of people have gotten sick from just watching the trailer, including hardened gamers, I wondered if I should even come close to it, given my penchant for getting sick for almost any FPS, but hey, I’ve got a job to do, right? I was told that’s what the tiny white dot in the middle of the screen is for; its for folks to concentrate on, similar to how ballerinas, when doing pirouettes, will keep their eye on just one thing to avoiding become nauseous themselves.

And it worked! I was actually able to play the whole demo without getting ill! Which is good, cuz it’s pretty awesome. I just loved the game’s realism… which is not to say that it’s completely entrenched in reality (you’re not some regular woman, but a clearly agile super woman), but there seems to be little of the normal cliches, like blasting away aliens. In fact, the emphasis is more on just running through, and jumping around, the environment, and not so much combat, though there is some of that (though it was completely absent in the demo). Personally, I’m bummed to hear that there’s any combat whatsoever, but hey, they need to make money in the end.

Controls were great; just push forward to run and the shoulder buttons handle either grabbing/jumping or ducking/sliding (which kinda reminded me of Shadow of the Colossus, believe it or not). Most actions were either contextually based, or dependent on inertia. There’s also a wall running move that feels very natural (Lord knows I struggled with such a mechanic while designing the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon game back in the day). In no time flat, I was running across large distances, then rolling to a ball, then bouncing between two structures, sliding, and even running up walls. Thinking back, I’m actually surprised I was able to do so much without falling flat on my face! Also, the game looked great, with very nicely, and brilliantly lit environments. Another thing I could do without from most FPSs is the drab, “realistic” colors. In fact, all those blue skies, the running… not saying that it felt like a Sega game, but…

We Are The Reset Generation

And earlier today, I got to check out Resent Generation, the N-Gage Version 2.0 launch title that I was covering quite a bit over at my now defunct cell phone blog. To put it in the most simplest of terms, its basically a video game about video games. A concept that’s been explored via numerous freeware efforts, such as Rom Check Fail, but never commercially explored, at least as far as I can recall. The stars of the show are various characters that are take-offs of famous characters/clich?d archetypes, such as an ethnic plumber and an attitude ridden hedgehog. I especially like how the level 50 elf chick is simply named Level 50 Elf. The most interesting part here is that each one was designed by various notable artists, hand-picked by the producer (Scott Foe, one of the bigger and prominent names in the world of cell phone game dev). Dan Paladin, the artist behind Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers, for example did Hedgehog and Ryan Church, one of the bigwigs at Lucasarts that does a lot of Star Wars stuff, crafted Cyborg, which is a take on Master Chief.

Which I suppose is just one example of how Reset Generation easily one of the biggest budget cell phone games ever, eclipsed only by Spore, though that may not even count since it’s simply part of some bigger game with a ginormous budget, and who knows if the cell phone versions has its own budget or if its just shares it’s bigger brother’s. The production values truly shines in the game’s visuals and audio (which is provided by chiptuner 8-Bit Weapon); it is easily the nicest looking and sounding cell phone game you’ll encountered in this day and age, or at least the most polished.

As for how it plays… it’s intended to be a celebration of games, not just via the characters but the gameplay. So does it play like Rom Check Fail, which tosses the mechanics from a whole mess of different things into one pot? Not exactly; it’s not quite as ambitious, nor as daring I’m afraid. In fact, it’s a more or less a fairly conservative, or perhaps extremely sensible, combination of two tried and tested formulas: Tetris and Bomberman. Hey, both work on their own, and if done right, together it could be lots of fun, and I guess the addition of characters couldn’t hurt, right? To be honest, once I found out that it was just a puzzle game that tried to cash in on video games via the kooky cast, I got a bad Family Guy taste in my mouth, but from what I’ve seen, the game appears to be a legit game and not some stupid joke. The best part is how N-Gage gamers won’t be the only ones able to give the game a whirl; anyone on a PC (and for free!) can play as well when it’s officially launched this upcoming Monday. Till then, just check out the trailer.

Guess that’s it for now. Next time, reviews, including 1942 Joint Strike! Was actually gonna include reviews in this post, but I haven’t beaten it yet, plus I’m too hungry (haven’t had dinner yet) to move onto other stuff. And I’m also hoping that my copy of Soul Calibur 4 will have arrived by then as well!

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07/28/2008

Mary Fuckin’ Poppins

by Matthew Hawkins

Since its been a while (over a month!) since I last combed through the forums for some highlights:

- As previously noted, not just by myself but pretty much every one else, E3 2008 sucked, but at least we got a totally awesome animated gif out of it.

- Because every message board with a video game section needs one: the obligatory Sega topic. Included is CNET’s notion that Sega should get back in the hardware biz once again (yeah right), why there’s never gonna be another Space Channel 5, AM2′s new hawt sounding driftu game, the next chapter in the House of the Dead series that seems to hold much promise, and how some of Sega’s lineage might be forever gone.

- Though the agony and the ecstasy that is Sonic the Hedgehog has its own thread. And yeah, Sonic with a sword. WTF indeed.

- I already passed along the head’s up on the latest Meat Bun tee, but the awesome video game threads thread has a few others, including even more MGS4 shirts, plus this AWESOME looking retro Mega Man 9 design…

- Speaking of MGS4, as mentioned here, after finding out that there’s a Metal Gear Rex vs Metal Gear Ray fight scene in the game, my interest in playing it has once again shot through the roof (though I’m waiting to see if there might be a 160 gig PS3 model with 17 usb ports somewhere and the return to HARDWARE backwards compatibility down the road).

- Soul Calibur 4 is just around the corner (though I all of a sudden haven’t heard from the Bandai Namco folks concerning my review copy…. just splendid), and I’m psyched. Why? Because of Mary Poppins of course!

- Via the general 360 discussion topic comes instructions on how to improve the kinda shitty d-pad that the controller sports courtesy of our very own Dave Mauro, along with the sad news that Joe’s Xbox is yet another victim of the red rings of death.

- Speaking of Dave and Xbox controllers, via the 360 arcade stick thread comes his sweet as fuck custom stick…

- I’m not a PC gamer, as pretty much everyone already knows, hence why I missed out on/didn’t get all the fury over the color choice for Diablo 3.

- Video games are deep people.

Oh, and for folks who might have problems seeing it in the original thread like some did (due to weirdness related to the forum software… which still needs fixing/tighening up), just click here instead.

- How about taking a look at the behind the scenes of… Street Fighter The Movie: The Game!

- I hear that Uwe Boll is a shitty video game movie director. I personally wouldn’t know since I’ve never seen anything by him. Make no mistake, I love crappy movies as much as the next guy, but all his stuff simply sounds and looks hella boring. Though after viewing that brief clip from his last flick, Postal… I still can’t believe what I saw, and must see if its for real.

- Via the No More Heroes thread, get ready fans of the game for… the cell phone version?

- I wonder which of the fourteen possible Spider-Man games is actually gonna happen?

- God, each new screenshot from Mortal Kombat vs DC just makes me laugh harder and harder…

- Over at the hacking thread comes hope for a possible Wii edition of Jet Set Radio

- And via the random video game videos thread comes…

A new gold standard when it comes to shitty voice acting in games!

The evil robot masters from Mega Man 2 aren’t interested in killing the blue bomber, they just want to fuck him.

A cheap, 80′s reference that I can actually get behind (and want to play).

… Nor am I fan of Chuck Norris jokes, but I gotta admit that this is actually pretty neat, mostly cuz it’s an actual game.

It’s called a road… a rainbow road.

And F-Zero + go karts = awesome. FUN FACT: I posted that vid over at NeoGAF not too long ago, and it got everyone all pissed! Enough for some to call for my banning! Seriously. Apparently they though my topic was gonna be about a new F-Zero game for the Wii or something and many hearts were broken. lol

Now, moving onto non-game related nonsense:

- Well, been meaning to pick up chess for a while now, so why not WuChess?

- LOL Russia.

- LOL PETA.

- Yet another reason why the education system here in America is so fucked up!

- This is what torture looks like (and yet another reason why I find water so fucking scary).

- And this is why I fucking love wrestling…

They announced the first ever Hustle Grand Prix tournament, as a spoof on the K-1 World Grand Prix tournament. It starts 7/6 in Fukuoka with first round matches of Bono-chan (representing people under the age of 18 since Akebono plays the gimmick of a the world?s largest baby with a pacifier) vs. Genichiro Tenryu (representing Sushi, which I?m not sure of what that is to mean other than maybe he likes to eat Sushi); Tiger Jeet Singh (representing India) vs. Bob Sapp (representing the U.S.) and Toshiaki Kawada (representing the Tochigi Prefecture in Japan) vs. Rene Bonaparte (Rene Dupree, representing France). Other first round matches are 7/11 at Korakuen Hall with Real Gay (no doubt representing the gay population) vs. Akaonigumo (representing Onigumo) although we?ve also heard Fake Hard Gay vs. Real Gay for 7/6, as well as 7/27 at Yokohama Bunka Gym with Wataru Sakata vs. Tajiri, Anjo Shirekan (Yoji Anjo) vs. Ginga Nagao (representing the Ginga group), plus two more matches to be announced, one of which will have Monster C (representing the alphabet).

- Once again, via the awesomely shit-tastic comics thread that is mostly filled with awesome these days…

- Behold the power of advertising! Kinda NSFW btw.

- And behold the power of art! Also a bit NSFW (though I couldn’t see his pecker and I looked far harder than I should have).

- Fucking coffee drinkers.

- Ever wonder about the story behind the Doctor Who theme?

- And courtesy of the stupid tattoos thread

- Speaking of, why both super fans and tattoos are fucking stupid.

- You’d think I’d be all over an album that had hot dog flavored water, amirite?

- Hey, Katie and I aren’t the only ones with a new cat!

- Oh God, there’s been SO MANY mind-blowing additions to the random pictures thread. Here’s just a few…

- And what about the random videos thread? Glad you asked!

Germans take their water slides VERY seriously.

… Remember that 7 year old black kid that stole an SUV? He’s sorry.

… For those who missed it, the Ultimate Warrior recently made his triumphant return.

Rich people and their hot dogs.

“I think I orgasmed, like, three and a half times.”

The future of rap has a name, and it is Chuggo.

…. Journey at the center of the earth.

SHE’S BAAACK!!!

The ultimate YouTube remix vid. I know it’s really long at six minutes, but trust me… just hang in there till the end.

Pickles, electricity, and God.

Tom Jones is simply the fucking man.

Next, a quick stop over at the NYC discussion area:

- Once again, I reassert the stance that New York City pizza is terribly overrated and actually quite terrible!

- And we have another subway thread (cuz you can never have too many), with this one solely focused on the wacky cast of characters one comes across on a daily basis (especially if you ride the A train like Katie & I).

- MTV’s The Real World is coming back to NYC! And it’ll be…. somewhere in Brooklyn.

- Not sure if the rest of the country knows (or gives two shits about), but we have a bed bug epidemic going on right now.

- You can find pretty much anything and everything here in the Big Apple… including improv.

- About once a year, around this time, I bitch about how much I hate baseball.

Finally, just a few of the things that’s been passed around, behind closed doors (at least the stuff that’s SFW)…

- Want one big reason why I really like my cat? It has a face.

- How to know if a ghost has raped you or not.

- Can one think of a worse combination that home schooling and furries? I think not.

- The SFW animated gifs thread is certainly worth a few laughs.

- I really wish I hadn’t asked what “bat wing syndrome” was.

- And finally, the latest candidate for the fort90party bus…

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07/27/2008

Enter… JOSIE!!!

by Matthew Hawkins

Time for some personal notes…

New Cat GET!

So the much awaited moment for both Katie and I finally took place: our bundle of joy arrived earlier today. No, Katie wasn’t preggers; not too long ago, I believe I mentioned previously how we were looking into getting a cat. Well most of this past week was spent towards getting the apartment, which meant numerous trips to various pet stores, getting food and toys and the such. Though the highlight would have to be the seminar Katie and I had to attend, organized by the pet adoption agency that we’re going through, which was led by some wacky cay lady/undercover federal agent, along with the discovery that the feline that we would be bringing into our home is somewhat of a celebrity in certain circles. Hence why Katie and I have decided to stick with her original name, Josie, instead of going with what we had originally planned, which was Kimchee

Anyhow, we learned a lot, such as how the allergens that a cat releases is directly related to it’s diet, and that if kitty gets what a kitty should for nourishment, then I might have to worry too much about living with scratchy eyes and sneezing all that much. Plus much more, like how to read the labels on cat food cans, and how pretty much all dried food is basically “McDonalds’ for cats” meaning that its really bad for them, as well as how litter that turns into clumping clay is actually dangerous for them as well. Along with tons of other useful things that helped to confirm what a horrible pet owner my previous roommate was (gotta admit that I do love seeing people’s reactions, especially animal experts, when I mention how she used to feed cat food to her dog… and while it might seem like I’m acting like a passive aggressive dick for talking shit about her, all I can say is that over nine months later and I still haven’t gotten all of my security deposit from her, so whatever).

When she first arrived, Josie hid herself under our couch and simply stayed there (not too much of a surprise, sine we were told that she was shy). Katie did manage to draw her out a few times for isolated bits of playtime, though that was pretty much it. As silly as it sounds, for a while there I was kinda afraid that she might not like me, mostly cuz in my last residence I had to share the roof with a scrawny little rat dog that hated me with a passion, which was fucking hell on earth (honestly, my ex-roomie should give me the full amount just for fighting off the temptation of snapping that little fucker’s neck), but after Katie went to bed, I managed to endear myself to her, and now we’re best buds. Enough to pose for some pics!

Now all I have to worry about is her fucking up my games and collection of little plastic figurines! That and my allergies, which hopefully won’t act up; Katie and I have Josie for a month trial basis, so if they do, she sadly might have to go…

Finally, Something For Us White People!

Also really looking forward to tomorrow; there’s a new diner opening in my neck of the woods, here in Washington Heights. Actually, there’s already tons of diners in the immediate area, so maybe I should clarify; there’s a new “white” diner opening up. The block I live on is literally the border separating the Puerto Ricans and the Dominicans (who have a bevy if diners and all sorts of eateries) and all the whites (there are lots of Columbia University folks around here) plus Jews (Yeshiva University is also just down the street). Everyone gets along well enough (like most places in Manhattan, it used to be kinda hairy, or so I’ve heard, but those days are mostly long gone), though the businesses clearly reflect their clientele.

The diner has been under construction for some time now, and everyone has been quietly frothing with anticipation. Today they put up a sign stating that tomorrow is the grand opening, and also had the menu available for public viewing. All throughout the day there’s been a small crowd surrounding it, with everyone looking inside intensely (What’s inside? The entire staff, getting ready). Man, it’s gonna be a mad house; wonder if we’ll run into Nullsleep and his gf there? Probably. I just hope they do cheeseburgers good.

Definitely Good, But Better Than Batman ’89? Let’s Don’t Be Too Crazy Now!

Oh, and Katie and I finally saw The Dark Knight yesterday. It was actually really good! Even more so than expected, though I will admit that expectations were never all that high to begin with; I was one of those few folks that didn’t get swept up by the hype leading up to it (unlike Iron Man, where I was literally counting down the minutes and actually caught it on opening night), and somewhat found all the praise after its release a tad bit mind-boggling, even annoying. Granted, it’s certainly not the greatest movie of all time, like some people have wanted me to believe, let alone the greatest super hero movie of all time, but it was pretty god damn great, and easily the most successful attempt at a “realistic” super hero flick I’ve ever seen. I actually found myself far more interested in Batman when he was in his civilian digs, which is normally not the case in these types of movies. I couldn’t get enough of Bruce Wayne, the billionaire dick with a hard-on for his ex.

Also loved the pacing and the pure density of the script. I again can’t recall any previous super hero flick where you had so much shit going on. Despite a few nagging plot holes and lapses in realism, for the most part, everything simply flowed together logically and rather elegantly. The build-up and the tension throughout the latter half was particularly effective, or at least I thought. Things went from grim to grimmer to holy shit, things are really fucked up! And Heath Ledge was indeed fantastic as the Joker, though all those people saying he should get an Oscar nod are, I’m sorry, crazy. But then again, the Oscars are a joke anyway (I’m still annoyed that fucking Lord of the Rings got a best picture that one year… I mean, its neat and all, but come on), so I guess it wouldn’t be that out of the question. Back on topic: I’m also amazed how the movie was able to so perfectly accommodate the multiple bad guys thing, which no other comic book movie has really been able to do all that well (I guess the closest might have to be Batman Returns).

That’s not to say the movie doesn’t have its issues. More or less, everyone did a fantastic job, like Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and especially Aaron Eckhart, but Maggie Gyllenhaal just didn’t do it for me. I actually missed Katie Holmes, perhaps because I find Gyllenhaal so insanely overrated as an actress (plus she’s not as easy on the eyes). I also found Bale’s voice as the Batman to be ridiculous to the point of practically being a distraction. Plus, and this isn’t a complaint but a comment: I found the ending to be… “interesting.” I guess I shouldn’t say anything since that would be spoiling things, yet I guess I kinda already did so by revealing that there’s two villans (well Katie for one had no idea who Harvey Dent was), but at this point, who hasn’t it? Also, some people are saying it’s the best Batman movie of all time, and making direct comparisons between it and the first Tim Burton one, and while I guess The Dark Knight is on paper the superior motion picture, Batman 89 is my sentimental favorite and still damn fine today. Both are totally different really, so its practically like comparing apples and oranges: 89 is like a comic book but for the big screen while TDK as already noted is a comic book that’s been made “real.”

Now, speaking of realism and comic books, I also caught the trailer for Watchmen beforehand (actually, saw it online before it even hit the big screen) and all I can say is… I guess it’s about as good as can be expected. There’s a bunch of little things that annoy the piss out of me already, though I’m just going to sit back and hold tight, while hoping for the best. Yet I’m already certain that the “prequel” video game is gonna fucking BLOW.

Oh, and even though its all shaky and hard to make out, this Tron 2 concept footage is just plain fucking awesome.

More Asian Than Ever

In not so great news, I’ve also come to realize this past week that I’m becoming ever-increasingly Asian: I am now lactose intolerant (a problem that many Asians seem to have). I had come to suspect this in recent times, but finally realized the simply truth during my two day stint at Chopping Block. Did some on-site consultation for them, which was actually pretty awesome and loads of fun… except for the fact that on the morning of the second day, I had two bowls of cereal, and for the rest of the afternoon I had to keep holding back burps and farts. So I guess that means no milkshakes for me at that diner tomorrow. Maybe.

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