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Archive for the ‘Joke Article’ Category

NOTE: 4/27/2010 – Erm, ok guys, I’m actually getting somewhat disturbed at how this is still the most viewed article on my blog for well over 2 weeks now. Apparently no one got the —JOKE— that I’ve pretty much said nothing in this review just like how nothing happens in the movie either, and it’s spurred astronomically more controversy than laughs. Anyways, if you want my serious review on this movie, hit the IMDB boards or wait for the redux (if I ever do one). In the meantime, you can continue reading if you want, or check out my other PA article (which actually has substance, see next note) or my other reviews.

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NOTE: As of 4/15/2010, I retract my “sheep theory” (greyed section), and have replaced it with a new one, and a new conclusion, available here.

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I bash this movie a lot and frequently refer to it when I need an example of a bad horror movie. So, it’s only fair that I explain why. You’ll notice that the review part is relatively short, and there’s a good reason for that. The movie is about 84 minutes long, and nothing remotely significant happens in 83 of them.

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The basic premise is that Micah is an idiot and a jerk, so he buys this camera to film him and his girlfriend Katie, who’s been haunted by ghosts her whole life. She’s your stereotypically useless girlfriend who lets the guy call all the shots and who’s idea of taking control involves throwing a tantrum and crying a lot until the guy decides to just do what she says.

The movie is shot in two distinct styles: day and night. Basically, all night shots look like the screenshot above. You will stare at it in silence with nothing happening for anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes, and then one of the following happens, mostly lasting 1-2 seconds (except one of the nights, where 1, 2, and 5 happens):

  1. the door moves/closes
  2. there’s some thumping sounds
  3. Katie sleepwalks at the speed of a catatonic snail
  4. the hall light turns on
  5. a shadow moves
  6. the blanket moves
  7. something leaves footprints from stepping on scattered powder
  8. Katie wakes up

Then there’s the day segment where the two review and reflect on what happened. This is achieved by stating the obvious repetitively and saying things like “oh my god” and “I can’t believe this”. A lot. A fucking lot. Over and over. Again and again. And then some. Sometimes repeating things from other days. The dialogue is so repetitive, it actually makes Mojo Jojo seem incredibly concise by comparison (if you don’t know who that is, I feel sorry for you). Then there’s the acting, which isn’t flat. It’s actually worse. You can hear them struggle so hard to not burst out laughing at points. They try to convey different things depending on the situation, but it’s hardly ever the emotion they were aiming for.

Anyways, Micah tries to solve the hauntings by filming it and mocking it, which doesn’t work (no shit sherlock). There’s also an ouja board that moves on its own and catches fire, a draft from the window, some girl they find on the internet that had the same things happen to her, and that’s about it. The film’s idea of scaring you is boring you to death with 15 minutes of bad acting and dialogue, followed by 1-5 minutes of nothing happening, then 1-2 seconds of something that I don’t think actually deserves to be called a special effect. The final, ultimate scare consists of about 10 minutes of silence and not much happening, then Katie screaming at the top of her lungs. I’d label this next sentence a spoiler, but it’s probably more accurate to call it a time-saver. Anyways, Micah runs downstairs to her, gets knifed to death, Katie comes back up, slits her own throat on camera. The end.

VERDICT: 0/10

I’m sorry, but not even an accountant can possibly enjoy this movie. If you like watching random shit move around, save yourself some time and just go youtube it. There’s a gazillion videos and video collections of weird shit happening in people’s homes that 1. are more convincing than this shit and 2. don’t include a 83 minute wait time. Seriously, you’d be more frightened listening to Jeremy Clarkson’s opinion about honey badgers.

There are movies that are so bad, they become unintentional comedies (Steven Seagal). There are horror flicks about people so incredibly retarded, it makes you feel good inside when you see them die (The Descent: Part 2). There are C-grade horror flicks with so many cheap scares, they’re annoying (One Missed Call remake). But this movie commits a sin on you so far beyond all of those: it’s fucking boring.

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REMINDER NOTE: As of 4/15/2010, I retract my “sheep theory” (greyed section), and have replaced it with a new one, and a new conclusion, available here.

So, why is it so popular and highly acclaimed?

There are of course, people who are so incredibly stupid that they actually think they like this movie. But then you read what they say, and you just laugh. One of the most common things I heard are people saying mad people walked out of the theater before it finished, meaning to imply that it was too scary for them. They never considered for a single second that they were just bored out of their mind.

There’s also people who have trouble sleeping afterwards. I suspect they fall into the category of people which are highly open to suggestion. Also known as tools, wagon hoppers, sheep, etc. They’re first led to have a fundamental preconception that it’s scary and good thanks to some clever marketing, and then by watching this movie, they believe that this shit will happen to them when they sleep. Trust me, that’s really what happened.

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How do I know this? Well, me being a psychology major with some knowledge in hypnotism aside, there’s the fact that this movie is actually from 2007. They showed it at independant film festivals, and no one gave a rat’s ass about it. They rerelease it in 2009 with incredibly aggressive viral marketing, change the ending slightly, and suddenly everyone’s raving about how scary and awesome it is.

What this really is then, is one of the most successful marketing projects ever recorded. And in that, perhaps, is where the true horror lies: within the mental weakness of our species. Free will is not as universal as we believed. Like a machine, like a computer, many of us can have our beliefs and actions controlled by strategic suggestion no different than moving a lever or selecting the right combination of code. Can you really trust the morals, the religious beliefs, and the feelings imposed upon you by your government? Your community? Your peers? Your family?

If you’re scared, don’t be. Just listen to reason and logic. Take philosophy classes if you’re weak in those areas, and take psychology if you wanna understand the phenomenon better. Just please, whatever you do, protect yourself and your loved ones from bad movies.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading my first special feature article. Name’s Wan Tung, better known as BoswerLK. See you guys next time.

REMINDER NOTE AGAIN FOR THE INCREDIBLY STUPID: As of 4/15/2010, I retract my “sheep theory” (greyed section), and have replaced it with a new one, and a new conclusion, available here.

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The main heroine returns to the caves with a team of retards (known in the movie as the rescue team) to look for survivors. That about sums up the whole movie right there. It isn’t actually as bad as it sounds, though. Just don’t think for one second that you’re watching a horror movie.

PLOT: 0

I really can’t even think of a better example of something so incredibly stupid that whoever thought of it really does deserve to be shot. The plot for this was so bad, that I’m actually considering going back and bumping up plot points for the PSP Assassin’s Creed game. The plot in that game was just so pointless that you pretend it’s not there. The plot for this is so incredibly stupid, you just bang your head onto the nearest solid object and ask “why?”.

It starts off with an old man helping Sarah, heroine of the first movie, to a hospital. She’s bloody and cut up, and understandably traumatized with convenient amnesia. So, the rescue team’s first move? Take her back with them into the caves with a small team of retards. The old man before helps them down with a mine shaft elevator that apparently goes down like 2 miles, and the first thing they do is to run into a lot of boards with skull and crossbones and a giant KEEP OUT sign. Being team retarded, naturally, the first thing they do is to break the boards, go through, then ask Sarah if any of this looks familiar. So apparently, team retarded thinks a girl broke through a bunch of wooden boards, put them back, then scaled some 2 miles up a perfectly vertical elevator shaft, and magically managed to lift an elevator sturdy enough for 6 passengers, WITH NO FOOTHOLDS. This plot actually gets worse by the ending, which without spoiling it, I can only say involved the old man, a shovel, and a hole in the middle of nowhere.

Anyways, they go in, get separated, and get themselves killed one by one by blind humanoid creatures that hunt with sound. Or, more accurately, there’s some blind humanoid creatures and Team Retarded gets themselves killed one by one using their incredible stupidity.

Have to climb some unstable rocks along a cliff face? I know! Let’s stay handcuffed together so I can arrest you later because my name is Sheriff Retarded and I still think you eviscerated and ate the guts of your friends! I mean, what are the chances that it was actually the thing that just tried to do the same thing to me only 5 minutes ago?

And then there’s the characters. In order of ascending competency, and in the names you’re most likely to remember them for, the movie follows the descent of Sheriff Retarded, Mrs. Dumbass, Mr. Useless Coward, Copwoman, Dan (who’s somewhat competent but is ultimately a tool, and you’d only know him by his name because they enjoy saying it more than Arnold Schwarzenegger likes to say Mack in Predator), Sarah, and one other girl. I thought about a spoiler warning here, but people who haven’t seen the first movie won’t know, and anyone who has probably saw this coming, so let me just tell you now that yes, Juno is alive and back. And still the most competent. And still the hottest.

Sarah and Juno aside (who you’d care about if you watched the first movie), you really don’t know or care about anyone of Team Retarded. In the entire hour and a half, character developement for them sums up to this: Sheriff Retarded is unbelievably and incredibly stupid, Copwoman has a daughter and is claustrophobic, Mr. Useless Coward has a crush on Mrs. Dumbass. That’s literally all. For some reason, Copwoman is actually one of the last to die, which doesn’t make it all that interesting. We don’t know enough about her to sympathize, nor is she retarded enough that we root for her to die. She’s kinda just there for the whole movie and serves no purpose to the audience.

The one good aspect of the plot is that they generally die with brutality relative to their level of idiocy, and you will spend most of the movie rooting for them to die (that’s just how retarded they are). In a way, it’s actually a pretty nice feel-good kind of movie. I would almost give a point for that, but then you get the last 20 minutes of the movie where it’s both retarded and makes you feel bad, so the plot points are all gone again.

ACTING: 3

They can’t do it. Mrs. Dumbass gives the best performance by looking scared and throwing a few tantrums, and generally crying a lot. For everyone else and every other part of the movie, you can’t ever really tell what their feelings behind their words are. Though, in lieu of the fact that the writing is retarded in every sense of the word, I suppose it’s probably not the fault of the actors.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: 5.5

As I’ve said before, this is the single most important aspect of a horror movie. It’s inferior to the first movie in every way, but actually, it’s not too bad. It’s not as dark or claustrophobic as the first one, but still gets the effect through decently. Quite a few decent shots too, including an Aliens reference where one of the creatures seemingly comes out of the wall while Sheriff Retarded is panning around the room. There’s also some gruesome cadaverous shots of the girls from the first movie. Not horrifying, but it does work well in a horror movie.

Apparently, bodies rot really fast in caves with limited oxygen. Keep in mind this movie happens 3 days after the first.

But then, that’s the main problem with this movie. It won’t give you nightmares. It doesn’t make you feel tense. It doesn’t scare you, like a horror movie should. It has shades of movies that are good, but at the core of it, it relies heavily on sudden shock moments with creatures popping out of nowhere and screaming. Typical C-grade Hollywood trash, though this movie comes from Britain. To be fair, this movie does manage to make the cheap shocks only ineffective. Considering the recent Hollywood garbage like Shutter, Mirrors, One Missed Call, and Drag Me to Hell actually misuse and overuse them so badly that it’s actually annoying, this movie making them merely ineffective is an accomplishment in itself.

PLOT: 0
ACTING: 3
CINEMATOGRAPHY: 5.5

VERDICT: 4.5/10 (not an average)

It won’t scare you, and it will insult your intelligence. Yet, at the same time, very large portions of the movie are enjoyable. Well, it was to me anyways, mostly because I hate retards, and watching them get brutally killed made me smile. Really though, if you’ve watched the first movie, then there’s really nothing new in the horror department. It tries hard to copy the first movie, and is just ultimately inferior in every way. It is very nice to see more Juno ass kicking footage, and you get to watch idiots die while waiting for her to show, so it’s actually very watchable. If you haven’t seen the first movie and the premise of being lost in a cave with blind monsters appeals to you, then there’s no reason for you to watch this, and you should just watch the vastly superior first movie.

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As a final note, this review is based on the uneditted UK version. At this time, it’s still another 2 weeks before the US version hits the shelves, which may get editted like the first movie.

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Assassin’s Creed has become one of the highest acclaimed series of its kind, especially after the second console game came out. As such, the announcement of this game coming to the PSP was met with high expectations and anticipation. I must apologize again for taking other people’s screenshots, but this time, you wouldn’t be fooled to think bad of this game from the fact that I no longer have it.

PROS

  • Altair is very well rendered and smoothly animated
  • There’s a wide assortment of freerunning moves

CONS

  • Everything else in the game is fugly and bland
  • You only use 2 freerunning moves for 99.9% of the game: climb and jump
  • Forgettable soundtrack
  • Pointless plot
  • Possibly the single worst combat engine ever made
  • Maria (the heroine) is fugly in ways which they have not yet had need to invent words to describe
  • Severe lack of content
  • Retarded AI
  • Very short draw distance
  • A very high random spawn rate
  • Boring boss battles
  • Not very intuitive control scheme

As you can probably already tell, this isn’t a very good game. If you’re deciding whether or not this game is even worth the time to play for free, let me tell you first that the answer is no. Just no.

PLOT: 1/10

Nothing gets resolved by the end of the game. Nothing. Other than seeing how Altair meets Maria, which happens on the first level, absolutely nothing of importance happens. The dialogue consists mostly of telling you who to kill next for reasons you won’t care all that much about and have no relevancy to the main plot anyways. Small wonder why that didn’t get resolved.

AUDIO: 5/10

Some say the voice acting for this is an improvement over the console ones as Altair now has an accent instead of that generic tough guy voice. They also argue that since no one knows how people spoke back then, it’s more historically accurate than talking like a rugged american action hero. Well, I may be going out on a whim here, but I’m quite willing to bet my arm and leg that ARAB ASSASSINS BACK THEN DID NOT SPEAK WITH A RUSSIAN NERD ACCENT. And it still wouldn’t change the fact that he delivers all his lines completely flat, along with everyone else in the game. Though, that may just be the pointless dialogue at work.

The ambience and musical score is forgettable. At the very least, the sound effects are crisp, for those of you who love the artificial sounds of metal cleaving through flesh and meeting the bone. It’s probably the second best feature of this game.

The satisfying sound of metal on bone isn’t very well represented in this screenshot. The ugly non-Altair models, however, are.

VISUAL: 0/10

Yes, Altair looks awesome and you can even see his beard. Yes, his cloak flows in the wind. You might think that alone would earn it one point in this category, but it’s sadly counteracted by Maria’s model. It is so ugly that in fact, there isn’t a single screenshot of her available on the entire internet. A pretty big letdown considering it would’ve really drove home the point, but perhaps its absence is informative enough. You can find 2girls1cup and the lotus boob on the internet, but you cannot find a screenshot of Maria in AC:B. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, trust me, don’t look them up. I promise you that you’ll be sorry you did.

Seriously, if women in real life looked like that thing, the well off would pay to be castrated and straight would be a derogatory word.

The creators obviously disagree with me, since cutscenes use ingame graphics where they liberally zoom in on people’s faces when they talk so you can really enjoy in full detail the marvels of 16-bit textures upon a cube with slightly rounded edges.

Ok, so maybe it’s set in the Cthulhu realm and everyone is fugly. But what of the world itself? Surely if they didn’t spend time on the character models, they were spending it on creating a lush vibrant environment to freerun around in, right? I’ll tell you what they did, and what they did was find about 3 textures with quality that has been unseen since Wolfenstein 3D and modeled about 5 structures after cardboard boxes and proceeded to copy and paste them on top of each other, a la RPG Maker. The game spans 2 cities and several castles, and they all look exactly the same. It’s a level of blandness that could easily compete with that in Superman 64.

Welcome to the world of AC:Blandness.

Surprisingly, that isn’t the end of the graphical problems. Apparently a majority of the GPU’s power is used to render Altair’s cloak. Distant structures are hidden by a heavy fog, as you can see above. But that’s really a minor detail when compared to the fact that Altair can only see about 15 feet around him. Towns feel pretty empty, and that’s also a minor detail, as the draw distance causes major gameplay problems.

GAMEPLAY: 3/10

I’ll have to be honest here, I did enjoy AC:B for the first 5-10 minutes. There’s freerunning and you get to kill people. How can you possibly go wrong with that?

Griptonite obviously saw that statement as a challenge, because they’ve managed to do everything wrong. There’s nothing terribly wrong about stealth killing, other than the fact that the ai is retarded and will watch you slaughter their fellow guard, and then keep walking past as if nothing happened. Unfortunately, that’s about the best aspect about the gameplay.

The combat engine is like a detuned version of Blood Omen 2’s. That game came out in early 2002. They have actually managed to make a combat engine that’s more limited than something that was made over 7 years ago. You have 4 different weapons, but 1 of them doesn’t work in combat, another has more recovery than hitstun and they hit you right back for more damage afterwards. That leaves the sword and throwing knives. The throwing knives are your cheap limited 1 hit kill projectile attack, so you’re going to be using the sword almost exclusively. You have a tackle, but the ai counters it 100% of the time, INCLUDING WHEN THEY HAVEN’T SPOTTED YOU YET. Right, so that’s useless.

You’re left with the option of attacking, dodging, or countering. There’s really no point in dodging (except against the final boss), so it’s just attack or counter for 99.9% of the game. Except bad guys attack once every 30 seconds, so you mash on attack for about 98% of the time you’re in combat. Fortunately, there’s a gameplay feature (or glitch) where you actually deal full damage with your attacks even if they block it with a giant shield. On the plus side, this makes things go a lot quicker. Unfortunately, it degrades combat to mashing attack a lot, and sometimes pressing counter until everything dies.

There are different mobs, but they all behave and are dispatched of in the same way, including every boss until the last. Bosses attack slightly more often and don’t suffer from hitstun. That’s about the only difference. The last boss has a lot of uncounterable attacks, so that’s the only time you’ll touch the dodge button. The only exciting thing to know about boss battles is that they won’t randomly respawn. Sadly, that doesn’t apply to regular battles. The way the game deals with the poor draw distance is to have entities randomly spawn anywhere within a 15 feet radius of Altair, including right in front of his face. This happens every 5 seconds or so. So basically, by the time you managed to kill one guy, another 1-3 have already spawned and are up your ass.

That won’t bother you though, because fortunately, you can use the draw distance to your advantage to “stealth” past all normal guards. You do this simply by running in a straight line at full speed. That’s it. They will have been deleted from existance by the game’s draw distance limit long before they can realize you’re an assassin and shout out to the rest of his guard buddies. Funny how they’d think you’re an assassin just because you’re running, but don’t suspect a thing when you pounce someone they were talking to in the back and stick a knife in it.

Farewell, fugly world. Me and my cloak are too beautiful to exist within the likes of thee.

Of course, combat and stealth are only 2/3 of what AC is about. This series was also highly acclaimed for the freerunning. Sadly, they managed to screw that up too. Altair has a huge variety of ways to get around, including wall jumps, swinging, backflips, etc. Sadly, the level designer has about as much imagination as a gnat, and you’ll only use his ability to climb and jump for pretty much the whole game. There’s one optional Limassol coin that requires you to backflip off a climbhold, about 2 instances where you can swing from a bar, and not a single spot in the entire game where wall jumping gets you anywhere. Every zone in the game is designed this way. You can’t even freerun for the fun of it because any route that goes anywhere is only accessable by either climbing or jumping.

Content, Replayability, Extras: 0/10

Play the first 5 minutes. Repeat until the last boss. That’s the entire game in a nutshell. Mercifully, including all sidequests (besides the hidden Limassol coins), the game is only about 4 hours long. I’ve heard one report of a playthrough lasting 16 hours. Clearly, he didn’t notice that blocked attacks still deal full damage and countered everyone to death. That’s 11 hours of staring at the screen waiting for something to happen. You really literally are better off watching paint dry. At least paint won’t cost you $40 a pop.

Hunting for coins might sound like good fun for those treasure hunting fans out there, me included. Sadly, they also suffer from the draw distance limit, and you can only see a coin if it’s within 15 feet of you. As you might be able to tell from the screenshots, the areas are quite large. Scouring the city of blandness 30 feet at a time is tedious and boring. It also means an faq can’t help you because every part of the city looks exactly the same as every other part.

There’s also an upgrade system but none of it does anything significant besides increasing your max hp and maximum number of throwing knives.

There’s also some achievements you can do. I think they might unlock some stuff in the PS3 AC2 but I’m not sure. In any case, you get nothing from this game for completing them, and most of them are simply get all coins in X area. There’s also one for getting 100 counter kills. You’ll have plenty of fun with that one.

Plot: 1
Audio: 5
Visual: 0
Gameplay: 3
Content: 0

Verdict: 3/10 (not an average)
Verdict: 6 (not an average)

You’d probably have expected a lower score according to my grading scale, but most of the problems in this game can be bypassed, so it isn’t quite agonizing to play through. The real problem is that you’d have bypassed pretty much the whole game and not a single moment of it would’ve felt entertaining. You’d be better off not playing the game at all, unless you have a serious fetish for watching Altair and his flowing cloak on the go. You’d probably enjoy reading this review more than you would playing the actual game. It’s like a Steven Seagal movie really. Quite a lot of fun to make fun of, not terribly fun to actually watch.

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