Archive Page 2

27
Jul
14

Robotics;Notes, Accel World

Robotics;Notes

The moe robot is what really sells this show.

Aside from having inappropriately used a semicolon in the title, Robotics;Notes is actually not a bad show. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly good show either. Robotics;Notes takes place in a fictional near-future Japan in which giant robots are real. A high school robotics club is trying to make their own giant robot for display in an annual robotics competition. The first several episodes revolve around the club’s two members as they try to recruit new members, secure funding and parts, and deal with general stressors of high school life. These were the show’s strongest episodes. As the show goes on, it bites off more than it can chew with crazy conspiracies, completely unnecessary side plots, a pointless villain, and an idiotic moe AI we are supposed to feel sorry for. When Robotics;Notes was focused on the robotics club, it was interesting and funny and surprisingly fresh. When Robotics;Notes diverted its attention to so many other things, it quickly devolved into a mess. The conspiracies are lame, the pointless villain is indeed a waste of time, and all the side plots distract from what had been a good story about “real” robots. In the end, the show was good, but significantly lacking. It was the lack of focus that ultimately hurt Robotics;Notes.

Verdict: Average

Accel World

The main character is fat, which is unique for an anime, but that’s the only thing interesting about this show.

Accel World is yet another entry in the very long line of anime with great concepts that were squandered. The premise is that everyone has a computer interface tied in with their brains. They are able to use software to help with their daily lives. The main character is given a mysterious online game called “Brain Burst” which accelerates the synapses of his brain so much that the world appears to move in ultra-slow motion. This is a very cool concept. There are myriad ways in which he could use this power for good or evil. Naturally, being an anime, this intriguing concept is eschewed for punching people in the face. That’s right, the second part of “Brain Burst” is an online fighting game. Each character needs to fight others, and the fighting doesn’t use their special slow-mo powers. Nope, it’s just people punching and kicking each other. This comprises the bulk of the show. And since this is based on an ongoing light novel series which hasn’t concluded, there is no ending. Accel World is a waste of time. They took a great concept and threw it away immediately for generic, uninspired brawls in stupid looking costumes.

Verdict: Shitty

19
Jul
14

Stolen, Mud

Stolen

“THIS IS MY ACTING FACE!”

Did you like Commando? Did you like Taken? If so, then why not watch Stolen? It’s exactly the same movie as the others. Nicolas Cage plays a man whose daughter is kidnapped, and he must race against the clock to save her. Stolen is about as low-budget, straight-to-video as a movie can get. The film blew its wad getting Cage to star, and he acts alongside a lot of shoddy nobodies. Cage plays a bank robber who goes to jail after a botched job to steal $10 million. Once he is released, his former partner kidnaps his daughter, holding her hostage for the $10 million he feels he is owed. What follows next is a 90-minute traipse through New Orleans while Cage tracks down his former partner by any means necessary. The FBI are hot on Cage’s trail for no reason in particular other than he used to be a bad guy. Apparently, the FBI have nothing better to do like catching wanted criminals or protecting the U.S. from terrorists. Nope, let’s chase a guy who has already served out his sentence because he’s probably up to no good. The movie gets increasingly more ridiculous as Cage attempts to find his daughter. It reaches self-parody at one point when Cage is arrested and placed in an FBI vehicle, and moments later the vehicle crashes, flipping end over end, followed by Cage getting out of the car, talking on his cell phone with the kidnapper. At this point the movie has realized it is a giant piece of shit, so it might as well be as ridiculous as possible. In the movie’s favor, Cage doesn’t phone it in. He always invests 100% of himself in every movie, regardless of how bad it is. At least the guy has a work ethic.
Verdict: Shitty
Mud

“Don’t worry, ladies, my shirt WILL come off.”

After being mired in shitty romantic comedies for years, Matthew McConaughey decided to fire his agent so he could land roles in good movies. Mud is one such movie. McConaughey plays the titular Mud, a mysterious guy on a remote island in the south. He’s living in a boat that has somehow gotten lodged in a tree. One day he is discovered by a pair of teenage boys. There’s something shady about him, and that makes the boys want to know more about him. He wants to get in touch with his ex-girlfriend who is in town, but he can’t do it himself. Is he a criminal? Who is after him? The cops? The mafia? Definitely, there is more than meets the eye to this character. But the point of the movie isn’t really Mud at all. It’s the teenage boy played by Tye Sheridan. He’s the main character. He has a troubled home life, and he uses the discovery of Mud as a means of escaping a very shitty situation. Mud becomes a surrogate father to him. It’s kind of hard to describe this movie without giving away all the best parts. You’ll just have to take my word for it, that this is a movie well worth your time. It features rich characters, an intriguing backstory, and wonderful acting. Not only does McConaughey turn in a great performance, so does Sheridan. This movie really has it all. It’s the kind of film mainstream Hollywood wishes they could make. Be sure to check this one out.
Verdict: Good
15
Jul
14

Happy (Shitty) Six Year Anniversary

That’s a six. It came up in Google image search. Yes, it’s amazing.

I managed to evade The Man and The Good Taste Police long enough to last one more year. It’s amazing to think that I have been writing this blog for six years. Sure, it’s little more than a hate-filled rant against Hollywood, but it still takes some effort on my part to churn out all this drivel. I don’t really know how long I’ll be writing this blog. As long as Michael Bay is making movies, though, I’ll try my best to be here to watch shit so you don’t have to. Once again, let me thank all of you who drop by and read the blog and leave comments. Awesomely Shitty wouldn’t be half as much fun without you. So, until next year, here’s a happy (shitty) anniversary to me.

05
Jul
14

Sandra Bullock in Space Made Me Shit My Pants

Gravity poster

I’m a little slow at getting around to new movies. I just don’t see the point in wasting $10 to see an overwrought, cliche piece of shit at the first-run theater. So, Mrs. Brik and I almost always wait to see stuff in the second-run theater. We spend a hell of a lot less money, and if the movie turns out to be shitty, it doesn’t feel like much of a loss. Gravity, like so many others, was a movie we waited to see in the second-run theater. That was a mistake. It was well worth the full admission price. I wish I had seen it sooner.

Gravity is less of a film and more of an event. It’s a massive spectacle that keeps you glued to the screen. You get completely lost in it. The typical things you expect in a film, like music, sound effects, character development, are thrown out the window. Gravity is like no other film before it. It is so different than other movies, you can’t judge it in the typical fashion. You don’t watch Gravity, you experience it.

Continue reading ‘Sandra Bullock in Space Made Me Shit My Pants’

28
Jun
14

Red Steel 2, Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Red Steel 2

The medieval Japanese/Old West Tommy gun is my favorite piece of historical weaponry.

This game includes a Wii gimmick in which it promises 1:1 movement, and all you have to do is attach a pricey peripheral device to your Wiimote. If you didn’t think the Wii was gimmicky enough, well, this just takes it to a whole new level. But to be honest, the Wii Motion Plus device does improve the function of the Wiimote quite a bit. The original Red Steel was a train wreck of massive proportions. The biggest problem with it was that the sword fighting sequences were clunky and unresponsive. They made the game frustrating and unnecessarily difficult. This issue is completely gone thanks to the Wii Motion Plus. The sword fighting works quite well, and it is responsive to the angle and velocity of your movements. That translates to the screen, where you can make diagonal, horizontal, or vertical cuts, and the power of your attack corresponds to how hard you swing the Wiimote. All in all, this worked out well. But what about the actual game?
Red Steel 2 is a first person shooter where you take control of a samurai/gunslinger in a fictional setting that is a combination of Future Old West and Feudal Japan. You traipse the desert with your six shooter and rifle, but go in for sword fights when enemies get too close for comfort. The graphics taken on a cartoony, cel-shaded quality, that mostly works given the ludicrous setting. The game is mostly fun. It has numerous objectives for you to complete, many of which are optional. The bad guys offer an appropriate level of difficulty, although a couple of enemy types were a bit too hard. There is a big variety of combat moves you can learn, which add to the fun, and also offers a level of strategy in the sword fights. You don’t have to slash away wildly if you don’t want to, although that’s what I usually ended up doing.  My biggest complaints were these: first, the setting is monotonous (the desert) and gets boring after the first few hours of gameplay, second, apart from the new moves you can learn there isn’t a lot of depth or replay value. Overall, though, Red Steel 2 was a win for the Wii. It won’t be added to the pantheon of greatest games of all time, but it is certainly worth playing at least once.
Verdict: Average
Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Tentacle rape!

Time for another Wii game review, and this one has a few superficial similarities to the one I reviewed above. This also features heavy doses of sword combat and takes place in feudal Japan. Apart from that, these games don’t really have all that much in common. Muramasa is a side-scrolling action/adventure game that is light on strategy and heavy on button mashing. There are two storylines, one belonging to a male and a female character. The characters cross paths a couple of times, but for the most part each story is self-contained. With each character you start out weak, fight through hordes of bad guys, get stronger, level up, and buy new and more powerful swords. You keep three swords on you at all times. There is actually some strategy involved in knowing which swords to carry. You can switch between swords at any point during a battle, but some swords are better for certain things than others. Some are slow but powerful, some weak but quick, and each has a special move associated with it. The swords have “life meters” too, so overuse will lead to them breaking. There is a huge sinking feeling when you are in the midst of a hellacious battle with three broken swords. Muramasa is a hell of a lot of fun. You travel through various regions of ancient Japan, each more beautifully rendered than the last. The graphics are animated, and made to vaguely resemble the artwork of ancient Japan. Enemies come from Japanese folklore, as well. Honestly, though, the story is more of an afterthought. The fun really comes from exploring the different areas, killing bad guys, and crafting new swords. While it is a button-masher, the game’s fighting system is intuitive and fluid. The game never becomes bogged down in repetition. It is blast from beginning to end.
Verdict: Good
21
Jun
14

Edge of Tom Cruise

Live. Die. Repeat. Live. Die. Repeat. Live. Die. Repeat. You get the idea.

Edge of Tomorrow is the newest vanity project from Tom Cruise. It’s based on the bizarrely titled Japanese novel All You Need is Kill. With a Scientologist lead actor, a sci-fi premise, Japanese source material, and a less than stellar trailer, this had all the makings of a disaster. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a disaster. Even more surprising, Edge of Tomorrow was pretty damn good.

I can’t say how faithful the film is to the source material, but it doesn’t really matter. The movie needs to be able to stand on its own in order to be successful. Fortunately, the story put forth by the filmmakers was compelling. Cruise plays Major William Cage, the military’s slimy PR guy who has never once stepped on the battlefield. He’s a weasel, for sure, and Cruise plays him with a smarmy attitude. We immediately dislike him, and we should, since he’s such a jerk. Cruise actually plays against type here, as a cowardly weakling who isn’t immediately the savior of the human race. His playing against type is a huge advantage for the movie, because if he played his usual hero-type, the movie would have fallen flat on its face.

Continue reading ‘Edge of Tom Cruise’

13
Jun
14

X-Men: Dayz of Futurez Pazt

Cool poster, X-dudes.

The newest X-Men film combines the casts of the original trilogy and the prequel film, X-Men: First Class. Wolverine’s consciousness is sent back in time from the distant future to 1973 where he must help Professor X and Magneto stop an event that will ultimately lead to the genocide of all mutants. I watched the original trilogy as a lead-in to this movie, mostly because I hadn’t seen them in ages, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be totally lost without a recap. Fortunately, you don’t really need to have seen the previous movies to enjoy Days of Future Past.
With that being said, I would still recommend watching First Class and the original trilogy just to get a sense of who the characters are, and to better understand their relationships and what drives them. Days of Future Past can be viewed as a standalone, and it holds up surprisingly well, but for maximum enjoyment, you’ll want to be versed in as much X-Men movie knowledge as possible.
First, the good.
1.) The movie is tightly plotted, and the story moves along at a good pace. While there are plenty of moments for dialog and reflection amongst the characters, there is never a dull moment.
2.) The acting is top-notch, with good performances on both sides of the temporal schism. All the older actors like Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, and Hugh Jackman fit comfortably into their well worn characters. McKellan is, sadly, given very little to do in this film, and it seems like a waste of his talents. But hey, he’s a part of this franchise and he and Stewart are SUPER BEST FRIENDS, so he might as well be in it. The younger actors turn in better performances, and James McAvoy, whom I usually find to be mediocre, actually surprised me. Professor X’s grief is dramatic and convincing. Of course, Michael F. Assbender is fantastic as the villainous Magneto. Jackman is present with both casts, and, once again, he is perfect as Wolverine.

Continue reading ‘X-Men: Dayz of Futurez Pazt’




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