Archive for Review

Review: Fidelity! (Live)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2010 by thenewserials

Love, Loss and Fidelity!

How does one begin something like this? A review of this magnitude ought to be taught as a college seminar. That’s not some overzealous view of my writing skills but, rather an understatement of what happens when two musical geniuses get lemons and make lemonade.

Fidelity!(Available August 24th)  is the newest project from Chrissie Hynde, this time she shares the stage with Welsh born singer/song writer JP Jones, along with a band, filled with talented Musicians, the Fairground Boys. The result is: Jp,Chrissie and the Fairground Boys.

Make no assumptions about this band and about this album. You may think you know Chrissie Hynde and some of you may think you know JP Jones but, this album will send you for a loop from it’s subject matter to its execution.

Monday night  I had the chance to see Jp, Chrissie and the Fairground Boy(s) at the Rockwood music Hall in NYC. To say the show was intimate would be a drastic understatement. Sitting less than 5 feet from Chrissie Hynde, JP Jones and their guitarist Patrick Murdoch, I found myself apart of the action going on onstage.

In a fine mood the three came out ready to play the ENTIRE album of Fidelity (previous shows had only showcased a maximum of 7 songs) JP Jones explained that this would be the first time they played some of these songs live at all and asked for our pardon in advance.

He wouldn’t need it.

Starting with their single “If You Let me” (Released August 10th) the band began to rock the acoustic set. Its in this song that the listener realizes that this isn’t just an album. This isn’t someone putting out music simply because they want to make money or because they like to. This is a story of why growing up is a hard thing to do sometimes.

The lyrics say: “I’m going to on this world/I’m going to make you love me/if you let me/if you let me/if you let me” sung in tandem it shows the like mind of the two songwriters. Every song is just as much felt by JP as it is Chrissie. There aren’t any petty disagreements or empathy for the other. On Fidelity! Jp and Chrissie are one and the same.

The two of them chatted with the audience adding a great deal of humor to the rather humorless chunk of music.

The set of live songs were all gorgeous and painfully honest. The whole of Fidelity! being a story in which two people are forced to understand that they cannot be together because of the age difference between them. The woman is painted as “Past her prime” (a line which sparked some surprised audience reaction and “she wrote it!” as a response from JP Jones) and the man described as a “perfect lover but, he’s only half my age”.

The entire album is of this sort of thing, the realization that it isn’t going to work between this two characters (are they Hynde and Jones?…probably) but, what sets this apart from a normal ‘I wish I could have you but, I can’t’ story is that the two decide to take their love in a different direction.

The word “Son” and “Lover” comes up so much, it’s PAINFULLY clear that they came
to a choice when they said “Hey we can’t be lovers, let me take you under my wing son”

In words like my feeble minded vernacular it sounds somewhat perverse but, when you hear this album, start to finish and hear Hynde’s cooing versus JP ranting, you’ll know.

While JP Jones seems still somewhat embarrassed to admit that this is of any truth to his life Hynde seemed casually open about the failed relationship. Whilst introducing a song named “Never Drink Again” (A quote Hynde has used before) Hynde explained the original name of the song was going to be: “Never drink again, until the pub opens up” a sentiment apparently shared by the other two and much of the audience.

It was then that Hynde does what she does. There aren’t any words to describe it, it’s either some sort of fearless truth and insight of herself or some kind of over-the-top form of bullshit but, Hynde says that she’s stopped drinking because when she does she becomes a “Cunt”.

At the sheer utterance of the ‘C’ word the entire audience gasped and moaned in disapproval but, Hynde got defensive of the choice of words. “No it’s true, he knows it. When I drink I go to the dark side”

It’s that kind of honesty (?) that fills the album, listeners will be treated to an unabashed version of their view on this tragic situation and the audience can decide if their even doing the write thing. Sure the two of  them can write a song but, what will this love affair yield at the very end? Is Fidelity! the ultimate love story or a musical tribute to the mistakes we make when we fall in love and can’t climb our way out?

Whatever it is, Rockwood Musical hall was able to get a glimpse of it. Filled with humor, fun and the passionately played out lyrics, it was hard not to get totally sucked into Fidelity!’s world. A wave of uneasy apprehension filled the room as the words: “I wish I could have met you in a former life, or seen you in a future time” Heartbreak plainly laid onto our laps with no real solution in sight.

Fidelity! is everything and nothing at the same time. Its what you WANT from an artist and yet it has no solution to its story, we’re told from the first lyric how this game is going to be played before our eyes and in the very end we still see they had not lied.

The concept of their love not being able to grow the way they want is complicated but, they treat it as a simple inconvenience. The human mind will baffle at it and enjoyed being toyed with.

Fidelity! is a complicated, perplexing view of simplicity and common sense.

As harsh as an acid and soothing as a base.

Tuesday August 10th New York City, SoHo.

After the events at the Rockwood musical hall the night before, I couldn’t pass up the chance to see the band again at the Apple store in SoHo. A free event that was set up for the store.

There’s not much to say here, they did 5 planned songs and revealed that management or Apple or some other power that be wouldn’t be allowing them to do anymore. But after some coaxing from the audience they unveiled an even NEWER song in a catalogue of new songs. Hynde explained the song is going to be released as a Christmas EP and the band had to take some time to remember how to play it but, when it was all over, the song was a beautiful christmas ballad.

Restricted by time and the store the SoHo appearance wasn’t the same glimpse into life ala Jones/Hynde but, a showcase of good songs.

I shouldn’t have to type this but, if you aren’t convinced that you should rush out and find the nearest performance by Jp/Chrissie and the Fairground Boys at this point of the review then simply don’t go. You’re not alive probably.

Fidelity! is NOT a Pretenders album and one shouldn’t convince themselves that the band will play Pretenders songs or have any Pretenders sentiments whatever. This is all new, and as real as it gets. Hynde hasn’t ever really let her audience down and Fidelity! is among the best music she’s ever put out.

Walk don’t run.

The Setlist for August 9th was:

If You Let Me

Fairground Luck

Meanwhile

Your Fairground

Leave Me If You Must

Misty Valleys

Australia

Never Drink Again

Skinny Love (not performed)

You’re The One (not on the album)

Perfect Lover

Fidelity

Portobello Road

Murder in My Heart

an encore included

If You Were My Age.

The Setlist for August 10th was:

If You Let Me

Fairground Luck

Never Drink Again

You’re The One

Your Fairground

An Encore included:

It Must Be Christmas

JP. Chrissie and the Fairground Boys will be back in NYC on September 25th 2010 at Irving Plaza. Tickets on sale now

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Review: Inception

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by thenewserials
Inception poster

Christopher Nolan Strikes Again

This day Two Years ago, I was eagerly awaiting the release of The Dark Knight. I was obsessed, fanatic, you name it I was it for Christopher Nolan’s new installment to the Batman series.

This year I wasn’t as excited for Inception. One could call it a quiet excitement, there was nothing that could convince me that this film wouldn’t be good. But there was nothing that would have convinced me it was going to be as amazing as it was.

Apparently written by Nolan when he was sixteen, Inception is a crime thriller revolving around stealing secrets from someone’s subconscious in their sleep. Cobb, played by Leonardo Dicaprio is the lead criminal to use the technique of stealing from dreams.  Plagued by a past that becomes more apparent as the film goes on, he is offered a way out if he can perform an ‘Inception’ successfully.

‘Inception’ is pretty much the same as stealing secrets from the mind during sleep but, instead it revolves around implanting a thought into the mind and allowing it to mature as if the victim thought of the plan themselves.

I won’t post any spoilers but, from there the movie gets complicated, a fair warning should be put in to effect here. If you aren’t planning on paying attention 100% of time during Inception then you should forget going to the film at all. Nolan’s masterful epic, insist that the entire audience be into the moment of the film at all times. Forcing you as the viewer to think constantly about the actions, ramifications and simple logistics of what’s happening on-screen.

That being said, everyone won’t enjoy Inception just as people had complaints that The Dark Knight was too complicated, Inception is far more complicated and a movie, seemingly, designed to make the viewer think before, during an after the film.

The acting in the film is solid, which is normal for Nolan. Knowing how to pick his actor’s and exploit their strong points whilst pushing them in new directions, you find yourself easily involved in the relationships of the characters in Inception.

Dicaprio is great as the scarred Cobbs as well as Joseph Gordon Levitt is a great addition as his partner ‘Arthur’. Ellen Paige is acceptable is as the moral compass: Ariadne and Ken Watanbe, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy are, all three, perfectly cast as Saito, Eames and Robert respectively. There’s not much else to say other than they play the parts with the edge that’s needed by the vulnerability that’s essential to make their plight seem reasonable.

The construction of the movie is confusing, and probably done so on purpose. The more confusing the audience feels the situation is the more acceptable it is to understand why the characters are stuck in the situation that their in. Taking place in several layers of dreams Inception dares to be bold in its ideas. Unafraid to dumb itself down for the masses, in continually builds itself up to a behemoth that can only be awed at in the end.

The movie is presented as a visual movie, its something to be SEEN. Often times people say: “this book would make a great movie” or “This movie would have been a great book” but, Inception was clearly meant to be a film. Not in the same way that blockbusters like Avatar and The Last Airbender need to be superficially seen, Inception‘s heart comes from the depth of it’s goal to be an instrument of visual story. Though there is ming boggling CGI in the film, it’s really some of the less obvious moments that stick out of my mind, such as two different reflections of one character in a mirror, A van falling off a bridge, A freight train careening down a busy city street, or simply the last image of the film. These sights are awe-inspiring because of their reasonings for being there, not solely for the aesthetic pleasure the eye receives. It’s refreshing to know that Christopher Nolan sees his world in such a way and isn’t reduced to adding pretty shots for the sake of filler, no, EVERY shot in Inception feels as if it’s purposeful and mandatory to get the story across.

Hans Zimmerman’s score is perfect and doesn’t replicate itself as being ‘Batman-esque’. Zimmerman is able to completely dive himself into the world and bring it up in music. As an owner of many film soundtracks I often say, for the best soundtracks that the score tells the story on the screen perfectly and leads the scene forward but, Inception is a welcome change. The score follows the story and the visuals, creating an audible guide-track for you musical senses to follow as you’re being thrust into a world that is defined in such detail that it arguably does EXIST in reality while it is being shown.

While everything is wonderful in Inception nothing outweighs Nolan. The acting, the visuals, the music, it’s all masterful but, doesn’t begin to touch the sheer awe of Christopher Nolan’s mind. Everything falls second to the knowledge that this man was able to think of the story and projected into a film of such high quality. It’s smart without being pretentious, fun without being campy and adventurous without being daft.

Nolan has all his wits about him and scenes like the fight in the hotel hall will show you that he is one in a million. Sure visually we have seen this sort of thing before in films like The Matrix but, we have yet to see it with such purpose that knowing WHY it’s happening is just as enjoyable as seeing the action being done.

I could gush on and on about Inception but, there’s no need. Those who know Christopher Nolan’s work and enjoy him know their in for a ride and those who don’t haven’t bothered to experience his full-house of film credits yet and deny themselves.

Inception is a glorious feat of intense, immense and refined talent and Christopher Nolan rightly earns my pass for ‘viewing without knowledge” meaning he could tell me his next movie was about the painted lines on the street and I would first in line with an ear to ear Grin on my face.

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Early Review: Zombieland

Posted in Entertainment, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2009 by thenewserials
Remember: Cardio, Twinkies and Bill Murray is the King!

Remember: Cardio, Twinkies and Bill Murray is the King!

Yesterday I was fortunate to catch a free, early screening of the new horror/comedy movie: Zombieland.

Normally I wouldn’t ever consider seeing a zombie movie but, zombie comedy seem to have a special place in my heart.

The first odd thing about this movie is that it had a strange appeal to me. I’m not a zombie lore fan at all. I mean I HATE zombies, they scare me, they disgust me and for some reason there’s a small part of my mind that thinks they are real. However Zombieland painted a pretty funny picture in its trailer (which is viewable at the bottom of this post) and I was very lucky to obtain free tickets to the showing last night.

The movie opens up with the explanation that there are rules to surviving Zombieland but, in terms of it’s actual originality it also sticks close to other horror and comedies of the past. There’s no denying this movie is akin to the wonderfully funny “Shaun of the Dead” and has the humor of recent blockbusters like Superbad and anything else Michael Cera has been in. In fact its not a far off thought that perhaps the main character “Columbus” was originally intended to be played by Cera, that being said Zombieland is a very enjoyable movie!

Jesse Eisenberg plays the main character “Columbus” with a neo-nerd humor that has (as before mentioned) been made very popular by Michael Cera and his films but, Eisenberg does add something new, he’s funny, he’s awkward but, he also is particularly likable and in the chaotic world of Zombieland Eisenberg plays up he’s involuntary loner attitude with the twist that it is actually what has kept him alive for so long.

Along the way he meets the wildly different ‘Tallahassee”‘ played by Woody Harrelson. ‘Tallahassee”‘ plays a very antipode character to ‘Columbus’, he’s angry, violent and totally unafraid of the zombie invasion that has taken place, He also has a strange but, humorous obsession with Twinkies and the ongoing gag of finding twinkies in the film is one that’s used just enough to be funny but, not enough to be obnoxious. Harrelson is both funny and somewhat of the action hero in this film and fans of Harrelson will get what they’ve known he’s had for years and those not too familiar or fond of him should see the great comedic timing Harrelson has had for years.

The two get together and meet “Wichita”  and “Little Rock” played by Emma Stone and Abagail Breslin respectively. The two female characters are the most cunning in the movie, their ‘bitches’ by nature but, they’re insanely entertaining to watch especially in their interaction with the other characters. “Wichita” acts as “Little Rock”‘s sister and their relationship to each other is that of the cliche protector and protected but, their serious nature as deceivers add something to it. Stone is great as the dead pan “Wichita” eventually and obviously becoming the love interest for ‘Columbus’. “Little Rock” is a product of our time several jokes in the movie poke fun at her young age as not knowing who Willy Nelson is and having to explain the complex relationship of Hannah Montanna’s fame to the “Tallahasse”.

The movie is fun and funny and, for me, had some scary moments. Any person who has seen any zombie movie before knows how this movie is going to move, it’s from obvious issue to obvious issue but, Zombieland isn’t trying to be drastically different from any other zombie movie, it’s just trying to be better. And with good writing, great actors and a hilarious cameo by the “King” Bill Murray Zombieland is bound to be a hit when its release on October 2.

Review: Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2009 by thenewserials

Big Budget, Small Thinking

If it don't blow up, make it!

Oh god, it’s that time of the year again, the sweltering heat, the undeniable urge to run out of the city, the lack of air conditioning and of course the million dollar budget movie with no plot whatsoever.

Fulfilling this years requirement for the latter is Michael Bay’s Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. With critic reviews as scathing as they come in this business Revenge proves to be critic proof, the huge success of the first film and the legion of die hard fans of the cartoon series ensured that this film would be a huge success but, what did that mean for the idea that the movie would be banal and without any REAL substance? It meant of course it was true! Michael Bay is able to take a relatively good story of intergalactic war into a two and a half hour orgy of explosions, kiddie jokes and some off-‘colour’ (pun intended) humor. Revenge of the Fallen is a movie that doesn’t try to be any better than a series of high gloss special effects and moment after moment of over the top self righteous explosions.

The action is high paced and never ending making it at least purely a summer action movie and at best an annoying two and a half hours of Shia lawhogivesadamn running around trying not to get killed (probably both in character and as himself) from Michael Bay’s Myriad of explosions.

The story is almost nonexistent, following some crazy idea that Sam (Shia Labouf) has miraculously incurred the location of a hidden gem the Transformers hid in Egypt some umpteen million years ago. All to stop the first Transformer known only known, cryptically, as “The Fallen” (now the name has a double Meaning!) from reactivating a machine that will blow up the sun and give the Fallen energy to do something that is inevitably not good for any of our hero characters and something something something….darkside.

Its amazing how much this film can try to beat out a plot that’s not there, symbols and military units and Transformations that seem like a lego factory has exploded right before your eyes. The film doesn’t take time to pace itself at any point, its gratuitous CGI effected fight scene after gratuitous CGI effected fight scene. Its all fun in the start because the CGI is horribly good but, after two hours of almost non-stop explosions you kinda want a moment of peace and quiet to take in all the chaos Michael Bay has constructed (if one can accuse of him of actually having a plan in this movie)

The acting is…well its Shia Labauf and Megan Fox in the leads so this isn’t going to be Citizen Kane, they’re acting which is good but, not very well which is…bad. Most of their lines consist of screaming the others name  I can imagine the screenplay for this film: “SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!”  Yells Megan Fox “MikaelAAAAAaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” yells Shia, then the biggest Effin Explosion you’ve seen in your LIFE! The supporting actors…support, though they’re useless to the nonexistent story anyway so who really gives a damn?

Despite having a weak story Michael Bay manages to pull out an amazing feat…With almost no story he completely riddles his movie with the most GAPING plot holes this side of 2007’s Premonition. There are stark inconsistencies from the first movie, and then further continuity issues within the film including but, not limited to, characters suddenly disappearing, entire scenarios changing for no reason, and iffy effects. Anyone who can coherently explain the details of this film must be so strung out on Ritalin that even Limbaugh would be in awe.

I won’t go into details but, Revenge of the Fallen isn’t the worst movie ever made, the action is still fun but, not enough to save the film. Its a summer movie and don’t go in expecting to be engaged in a story driven plot. This is Michael Bay’s “Kiss my ass” moment to all of his united nay-sayers, its hard to believe that in this day and age a movie with nothing going on can cost millions of dollars and make it back within a few days, it goes to show you that no matter how sophisticated we get at telling stories, we’re still just cavemen entranced by fire.

Grading:

Story: C –

Action:  B+

Music: B-

Acting: C

Overall: C-

Skip it if you really can, the ten to twelve bucks you’d pay are better used on buying yourself a train ticket to somewhere where this movie doesn’t exist.

Review: Quantum Of Solace

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2008 by thenewserials

Bond Is Back.

It’s such a cliche that has been over the years in the franchise and I had to use it at least once. But; however may, corny the line might be it has always been true.

The Bond film franchise is the longest running movie franchise and the most successful. It has introduced phrases and events into the world that will probably not be forgotten anytime soon. Starting with Dr. No Sean Connery helped shape what action movies would like in the future. Goldfinger helped introduce gadgetry and Bond superior wit as well as the idea of the “Bond” title song. Moonraker showed Bond could go into space. License to Kill showed Bond could seek revenge. Goldeneye showed Bond could bounce back after eight years of silence and Casino Royale showed that Blond locks could not conquer the Bond lock on the world.

Daniel Craig arguably had the most difficult task in becoming the new Bond in terms of how how he was viewed in the eyes of the press and media. But in 2006 he took his newly printed license to kill and blew audience’s away with the masterful Casino Royale. Craig always said that for the next one the burden would be more difficult to create a movie better than the first.

So at first, long, glance Bond 22 which would aptly be named “Quantum Of Solace” would be the most difficult Bond movie to make. Making matters even worse the choice to make Quantum a direct sequel to Royale came almost immediately after the films announcement.

Problems of all sort would follow: Writers Strikes, who’s going to direct, trying to find a Bond girl, angry government officials, perilous accidents, the choice for the singer of the title song, the strange title choice. It seemed Quantum was poised to be doom from the start I’m afraid…

Thank goodness none of that slowed down the film at all. Quantum of Solace is the solidification one needed to prove that Craig has beaten out Connery for best Bond actor. It’s a high octane action film with some serious heart. And while it does work on it’s own it is better in conjunction with Casino Royale.

Many critics in early reviews slammed Quantum for being too short and too action oriented; saying that at best it makes a excellent action film; but, an average Bond film. This simply is not true. The Bond elements are their; but, they are under tremendous amounts of strain and that is shown masterfully by Daniel Craig.

Quantum shows Bond on only his second mission as a 00 Agent and the vulnerability of Vesper Lynd’s death in Casino Royale still haunts him as well it should considering the movie opens only minutes after Royale ended. Anyone looking for quick one liners and the usual Bond pleasantries have lost focus on the story being told and decided to become a slave to the idea that tradition may never be broken save in failure. Quantum explores a deep part of the psyche as to why Bond is the way he is without becoming too introverted. It’s still an action film; but, there are some deep thoughtful moments within the film.

The acting in the film is still top notch; from the emotionally damaged Bond; to the vengeful Camille, to the snide Dominic Greene, to the questioning M; everyone is on par and helps to make their part of the film more watchable than the last. Without a doubt Quantum goes out of it’s way to deliver a dark, forbidding tale of revenge and death and does it with the finesse of a blunt club dressed in the finest silk.

The action is superior to all other actions films; not necessarily because of technique; but, what shows on screen a lack of technique. The fights look gritty and dirty; this isn’t like choreographed studio fighting; these people look like their really going at it.  The same goes for the Car sequence, in which, I found myself gripping my seat. It wasn’t spectacular in form; but, man did it look REAL. Quantum delivers the action and continues to. The movie is punctuated by some great sequences and despite what I’ve read from critics they are NOT gratuitous and all serve a point.

That’s not to say that the movie is perfect; there are aspects of the film one could do without. The shaking camera has never been a problem for me before and i fact it enhances the reality of the film; but, during some sequences it was hard to tell what was happening and took away from the action. This was minor; but, occurred in the beginning dampening my first impression. Some chances are taken with the editing creating a frantic way of viewing some sequences; but, it’s not horrible the risk are taken out of the idea of making art and they can be off putting for an average viewer.

The only real stinker about this movie was the title song. Bond fans know that when the opening title song suffers it subsequently drags the movie down too. It’s supposed to our window into he rest of the film; and get us excited for what’s next. And, in a way, it achieved that goal; Because when it came on I couldn’t wait for it to end and for the next part of the film to start. “Another Way To Die” is the worst fitting Bond song yet and no one in the audience seemed particularly interested in hearing it again.

Overall Quantum of Solace is a great movie and it’d be a mistake to miss it. It’s got everything that Casino Royale had and sometimes more and takes away the length of it’s predecessor; but, the movie did not feel short to me.

Score out of 10

9.0/10

Review: Spider-man Web Of Shadows (Amazing Allies Edition)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2008 by thenewserials

“I still think that the first game for Spider-Man on the Playstation is still the best”

I said that whilst simultaneously paying for the newest webslinger release “Web Of Shadows” for the PSP. I’ve seen a few screen shots for the game and was interested in how the game looked. There was a darker more serious tone to the look; very different from the abysmally kid-friendly “Spider-Man Friend or Foe”. I was almost convinced that this game was going to break new ground for the Spider-Man series which, in my opinion, has been declining since the release of “Spider-Man 3” in the theaters.

Spider-Man Web of Shadows implies some sort of deception…something is hiding in the shadows and Spider-Man has to uncover the secret. Well this is true only if #1: YOU are Spider-Man and #2: the secret is that the game is a load of crap.

I instantly knew I had been duped when I started the first level. The screen shots I saw must have only applied to the PS3 because the game’s graphics are anything but groundbreaking. The game consist of Spider-Man walking, slinging, wallcrawling around to the orders of Nick Fury after a symbiote invasion takes over Manhattan (Is this sounding like EVERY other Spider-Man game yet?); the only real difference is that now you can switch between the Red suit and the black symbiote suit which has a different set of abilities and moves.

In addition to the costume changes the game offers the player to make choices in conversations with other characters and civilians in the game. Usually there are three sets of answers: A light hearted and funny “Red” answer, A bland and normal Neutral answer and a mean spirited and cynical “Black” answer. Depending on how you answer you receive reputation points to whatever suit you’ve answered most like. So if you answer with a “Black” answer then you get some reputation points to the symbiote suit which will, later, allow you to buy some power-ups and skills that’ll more than likely NOT come in handy during regular gameplay.

Aside from that there’s nothing else to the game; the majority of the time is taken going back making sure you didn’t leave any items behind. The game gets EXTREMELY redundant after the first level and the lame jokes Spider-Man tells at random points aren’t enough for a chuckle.

The game is also extremely short; must have taken me somewhere between six to eight hours to run through once and I started a new game plus; but, I’m not at all interested in going through the whole process of figuring out the convoluted; yet, simple plot all over again.

Web Of Shadows does nothing for the franchise and the boasting of a whole new storyline written by premium writers just becomes embarrassing when you play the game full through. Spider-Man’s limited movements are frustrating, you want to throw web and toss bad guys around; but, all Spider-Man is able to do is web them and then go back to his routine punch combo or kick combo.

Considering the game cost me about $40 bucks to buy, I would call it a rip off. I’m not surprised the lax Activision would put a game out of such low caliber.

I should mention that there are summon creatures in the game which consist of some other Marvel heroes and Villains like Shocker, Black Cat, Hobgoblin and Nightcrawler; however, the animation for these summons are so bland and quick you could miss them and not even care.

The Back cover of the game says “How Far will you go to save New York?” and the question ought to be “How Far CAN you go to save New York” The game is so constricted (on the psp) that I can’t imagine how anyone could see this game as open ended and fun.

If you like Spider-Man get the game I guess; but, don’t expect much. All the characters are extremely under-written and don’t have time at all to seem like their selves. Venom is a mere shell of himself and characters like Luke Cage and Nick Fury seem like dinner theater actors phoning the performance in.

Overall: 5.7/10

I urge you not to buy this game. Really; I don’t say this much; but, it’s a waste of time and money.

Review: Movie: “Religulous”

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on October 12, 2008 by thenewserials

If you know anything about Bill Mahr you know that he is an atheist Democrat. Religulous will further drill that simple fact into your mind…over and over and over. Anyone ‘surprised’ about Religulous has probably been sitting under a rock for the past eight years. the movie is just a long version of Bill Mahr’s HBO show and doesn’t attempt to be anything; but, the one sided atheist propaganda that it is.

And It’s Great.

If you don’t have an open mind about the negative aspects of religion then this isn’t the film for you. As stated before the movie is intensely one minded; only focusing on the REALLY ridiculous aspects of religion and poking humor at the people who follow it. This film clearly has to, clearly, be watched with a grain of salt. Anyone willing to take Mahr’s answers as simple fact is deeply misguided and apparently inattentive considering that Mahr’s take on the film is that he does not have the answers and he preaches the word of “I don’t know”. However if you’re a person who sees the use of religion to justify silly and terrible actions then this is a great film to watch to know that you’re not alone in a country seemingly filled with “bible thumpers”. Some of the images in the film will be a bit jarring; but, they are not doctored it is merely a mirror image of the world that we currently live in. The film should push the viewer into a different train of thought hopefully allowing for them to make their own choice about faith and religion or at very least incite a lot of good laughs before it’s rather…downbeat ending.

Religulous starts off with Catholicism and ends with Islam, in between finding the time to ridicule Judaism, Christianity,  Mormonism and, surprisingly briefly, Scientology. Mahr’s approach isn’t to go to religious leaders and say “you’re wrong’; but, merely ask them questions and see if they can answer them. Unsurprisingly most of them cannot answer a question with simple facts; but, rather with more lore and fantasy. The friendly tone of them film does allow for the subject to be swallowed easier, occasionally the film will smack the viewer in the face with images of suicide bombings or audio tapes of a woman who killed her sons because god ‘told her so’, but overall it’s a film to laugh with; AT religion.

Your first impression of the film will probably be that Mahr is a funny guy. Anyone who isn’t aware that Bill Mahr is one of the funniest political comedians of our time then the first half hour of Religulous will sell that to them with ease. as the movie progresses you realize that this isn’t an atheist screaming against religion because they don’t like it; Mahr’s point is that Religion is dangerous when in the hand of simple minded human beings. And while Mahr doesn’t ever defend religion he seemingly puts the blame more on the people who are in power rather than the teachings themselves.

Mahr brilliantly shows the hypocrisy in religion and it’s leader with funny; but, slightly disturbing interviews with Reverends and U.S. Senators, the latter at one point explaining that ‘there isn’t a I.Q. test to get into the senate’. At this declaration it’s a wonder why people are outraged at who’s running our country and Mahr is light; but, not subtle on President Bush.

Mahr’s interviews are punctuated with him poking fun at some customs; but, mostly with the simple-minded foolishness of people who are blindly holding on to faith because they were told so. From living into fish in Christianity to defending assassinations of people who speak against your religion in Islam; Mahr doesn’t have to say much before the religious folk put their own foot in their mouths. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any god points by the religious in fact analogy seemed to get through to Mahr when “Jesus” (a man playing the role in Florida’s “Holy land Experience”) explains that Jesus, God and the Holy ghost are like water which can retain three forms (Ice, liquid and steam for all of you readers not caught up with science.) Mahr takes a moment to say that the explanation is a good one; the idea is still a corck of shit; but, a good explanation nontheless.

Overall I found myself hoping that Religulous wouldn’t end when it did. It has all the shock and awe humor of Borat with the intellectual humor of Mahr and the urgency of “An Inconvenient Truth”; it would be wise to catch Religulous this week instead of wasting money or “Beverley Hills Chihuahua”, “Quarantine” or “Body of Lies” Those three movies combine don’t even begin to touch the first 15 minutes of Religulous.

Grade: A