Reviews Archive

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Everything Old Is New Again (Again) In The HD Release Of Resident Evil.

Resident Evil HD is just like the Gamecube release of Resident Evil but even prettier so you should all buy it. Wow, that was easy. Who’s up for Red Robin’s […]

Resident Evil HD is just like the Gamecube release of Resident Evil but even prettier so you should all buy it. Wow, that was easy. Who’s up for Red Robin’s for lunch?

(Editor’s Note: Jerry we’ve talked about this)

Fine, fine.

In the year 2002, Resident Evil was still considered both a commercial and critical darling and were waiting for the fourth installment, which would not shake the gaming world until three years later. At the time director director Shinji Mikami would pause throwing out games and starting from scratch to go back to basics. And thus was released Resident Evil for the Gamecube, often called REmake by its fans, which retold the initial story of the first game. It wasn’t simply a port of the game like the Gamecube releases of Resident Evil 2 and 3 were. The game was completely reworked. The puzzles were more complicated, the game was bigger, the mansion looked prettier, and the voice acting… well, in Capcom’s defense have you seen the rates union actors require?

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Game of Thrones: The Lost Lords mourns the death of innocence.

Death of innocence and loss of hope are not exactly new aspects to the Game of Thrones world. It’s very fair to say that in fact, they’re at the core […]

Death of innocence and loss of hope are not exactly new aspects to the Game of Thrones world. It’s very fair to say that in fact, they’re at the core of the yarn that Martin has been trying to spin for more than two decades. When the Game of Thrones show is at its best (Season 3, for my money), Game of Thrones perfectly portrays that sense of loss and trying to rebuild a world that has long faded away with nothing but dreams and ideals. Sadly, the show has fallen to its own excesses and has lost a lot of what it has to say about people, instead becoming a complicated soap opera that doesn’t seem to go anywhere interesting most of the time.

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Long Live The Queen Is The Pretty Princess Simulator You’ve Always Wanted

Princesses aren’t uncommon in video games. It’s pretty safe to say that princesses have been in video games for only slightly less time than video games themselves have existed. Most […]

Princesses aren’t uncommon in video games. It’s pretty safe to say that princesses have been in video games for only slightly less time than video games themselves have existed. Most of the time you are saving them. Games like Mario and The Legend of Zelda feature this all-too common story hook. Everyone agrees these games are great but it doesn’t give the princess much to do (though I guess Zelda got to be a ninja and a pirate so maybe she doesn’t count) Sometimes you’ll get to actually play as the princess. She’ll join our heroes, go on adventures, and maybe even bust a few heads. These games, however, are not about what it’s like to be a princess. Princesses don’t lie around all day waiting for someone to rescue them and very rarely do the go charge into battle against armies of orcs. Being a princess holds responsibilities, duties, and the fate of an entire nation depends on you.

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Martin Luther King Jr is humanized in Selma

One of the most frustrating aspects of biopic films in American/British films is how overtly simplistic they are. Biographies tend to lionize their protagonists and reduce their life to moments […]

One of the most frustrating aspects of biopic films in American/British films is how overtly simplistic they are. Biographies tend to lionize their protagonists and reduce their life to moments meant to stir emotion through orchestral scores and sweeping shots meant to showcase genius or courage.  They also tend to not show why these characters/people were remarkable, instead showing the historical consequences of their genius and/or courage as we barrel through a series of wikipedia notes (and sometimes, it’s even less accurate)

While Selma has been criticized by many as inaccurate in its portrayal of LBJ, the truth is that the problem at play is not about accuracy. Historical films are not really documentaries. It’s fine to contort history into a dramatic context in order to create a more powerful narrative that audiences can relate to. The issue is when emotional truth is lost. While Selma might have decided to go against LBJ’s personality and principles, it still manages to be a film that’s true to both the reality of the civil rights movement then and the reality of racial oppression in America today.

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Galavant Aspires To Great Things But Does Not Achieve

Swashbuckling adventure stories lend themselves well to self-parody, perhaps better than any other genre. It probably has to do with the genre already being rather comedy-heavy and light-hearted to begin […]

Swashbuckling adventure stories lend themselves well to self-parody, perhaps better than any other genre. It probably has to do with the genre already being rather comedy-heavy and light-hearted to begin with, but movies like The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and of course Monty Python and The Holy Grail have been cult classics due to how they play with the formula, the latter going into outright absurdity. Galavant is the newest attempt to join that list with one added twist. It’s also a musical with new songs in every episode. Such an ambitious idea alone is worth taking note for the month it takes up Once Upon A Time’s time slot.

The story opens with a song about our hero Galavant (Joshua Sasse) and how he’s gone off to rescue his one true love Madalena (Mallory Jansen) from the clutches of the evil King Richard. (Timothy Omundson) Unfortunately, when he comes to interrupt the wedding, he’s found that Madalena actually rather likes the comfort and privilege of being a queen. A depressed Galavant leaves the castle and proceeds to drink himself into a blind stupor. Two years later, he’s approached by Princess Isabella (Karen David) who needs her help to save her kingdom. With his squire Sid (Luke Youngblood) with them, they head off to adventure and hijinks.

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On Die Hard, The Best Christmas Movie of All Time

The idea of Die Hard being a Christmas film is not new by any means. After all, it is a subversive joke often told when the inevitable question about “the […]

The idea of Die Hard being a Christmas film is not new by any means. After all, it is a subversive joke often told when the inevitable question about “the best Christmas film” comes up. Usually and to many, the joke means that Die Hard is only peripherally a Christmas film when in reality it’s a purely thrilling action affair with very few concerns outside of being Rambo in a building. Which is a very understandable position since Die Hard’s underlying ideas and humanism are easy to ignore or treat as simple comedic fodder.

But I would posit that Die Hard’s approach to almost all of the characters we see in the screen is completely humanizing. Almost every bit player gets to have a personality and the audience’s understanding if not necessarily their sympathy. Very few action movies dedicate to characterization like this. And I would argue that this angle is what turns Die Hard into one of the most compelling Christmas dramas out there.

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When You Play the Game of Thrones, You Win or You Die. (Hint: You die.)

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” That particular saying is bandied about so frequently nowadays that I’m worried it’s actually permanently engraved into my skull, […]

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

That particular saying is bandied about so frequently nowadays that I’m worried it’s actually permanently engraved into my skull, taking up valuable space I could be using to remember details about taxes and other Important Adult Skills. So as I eagerly fired up Telltale’s latest endeavor, Game of Thrones, that particular line was ringing in my ears. ‘I’m going to be fine’, I reassure myself. ‘I’ve read the books and seen the show, I know these characters better than they know themselves. I can be clever. I can be cruel to save my own life. I’m gonna rock this.’

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Heavy Weight Champions of 2014: True Detective

The season-anthology format pioneered by American Horror Story is probably one of the most refreshing injections of energy into Television in the last few years. Sadly, while Murphy decided to […]

The season-anthology format pioneered by American Horror Story is probably one of the most refreshing injections of energy into Television in the last few years. Sadly, while Murphy decided to turn AHS into a playground for his extremely unique talent for disjointed storytelling filled with over the top “Oh shit, that happened on a TV show?”-ness not many other options flourished after its immediate announcement. Of course, it could just be because producers everywhere were holding their breath to see if Asylum turned out to be economically unsuccessful. And even if I’m not his biggest fan, I will say, major kudos to Murphy in crafting what is easily the most insane, utterly out of control TV show in recent memory. It’s a shame that that anarchic energy does not translate into entertainment for me, for reasons not worth getting into.

However, what did entertain me during 2014 was seeing how many other shows took the idea of “One season, one story” and ran with it. Especially January’s first big surprise: Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective. Told as a sequence of flashbacks framed by a police interrogation of two former police detectives, True Detective is the story of Rustin “Rust” Cohle and Martin “Marty” Hart, the detectives in charge of the “King In Yellow” case, as their case is being revised by the Missouri police because they believe they have found a new victim and a new lead.

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Foxcatcher; A hunt for the Gold.

Walking into the theater, I hadn’t known what to expect of this film other than that it was about two brothers and wrestling. From the trailers and brief glimpses of […]

Walking into the theater, I hadn’t known what to expect of this film other than that it was about two brothers and wrestling. From the trailers and brief glimpses of hype I perused before seeing the film, I had come to expect a movie about triumph, about two brothers pushing themselves harder and winning gold for their nation. The haunting tale of depression, failing families, and utter mental lapse was not what I expected to find.

Feeling jaded at the way his country has spurned him, at the shadow hanging over him Mark Schultz (played by Channing Tatum) falls easy prey to the wise words from John E Du Pont (portrayed by Steve Carell) . He’s quick to find a kindred soul in Du Pont over the fact that he echoes the same thoughts. Their nation is in trouble and they need to save it, a very brave statement from an Olympic wrestler and one of the wealthiest men in America.  The hunt is on but instead of hunting for the fox, Du Pont is setting the hounds for the gold medal in the 1988 Olympics.

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Black Widow steals Marvel’s best #1 of the year

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2014 was a good year for Marvel’s women – certainly betters than ‘13.  Their flagship female-led title, Captain Marvel, was relaunched to consistently good reviews; Ms. Marvel was an instant critical and commercial darling, X-Men continued despite Brian Wood’s necessary departure and will soon be getting a new writer from Ms. Marvel’s G. Willow Wilson, and Storm, Elekrtra, Spider-Woman, and She-Hulk received titles of their own as well.  Not all of those titles are good, and some may be cancelled, but they were still there.

Black Widow was particularly notable as it was considered long overdue.  Natasha Romanov should have gotten her newest solo title two years ago when she played a crucial and beloved role in the third-highest-grossing movie of all time. Why it took so long, I don’t know.  But when it dropped, Black Widow #1 was outstanding.  Below, now edited, were my thoughts when I first read it in January, and they hold up twelve months later.

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