Friday, December 24, 2010

Movie reviews DONE

I've finished up my reviewing of movies!  I do enjoy watching movies (wish i could see a few more in theatres, but WOW are they overpriced) and will continue to watch a TON of them.  If you want some recommendations on new DVD releases and such, always you can hit me up on twitter @klintkrebs.

Watched Sorcerer's Apprentice

I heard many mixed reveiws for the Sorcerer's Apprentice, most of them pretty bad, but I wanted to check it out for myself.  I have always been a fan of Nicholas Cage, a stance not shared by many reviewers.  I liked his performance in most of his movies like Con Air, City of Angels, and this movie delivers another good performance. 
This movie follows Cage's character, Balthazar, as he searches for Merlin's decendant to save the world.  When the apprentice turns out to be a geeky physics nerd some comedy gets injected into the story.
All in all, the special effects are outstanding, the storyline is predictable, but enjoyable and the performances delivered are good enough for me to recommend this for a fun evening.

Review for Fallout New Vegas

One of my favorite games of all time is Fallout 3.  Then the same company announced it would be making Fallout New Vegas, I was really excited.  It's not a direct sequel in that Fallout 3 takes place on the east coast and New Vegas takes place guessed it the Vegas strip area.  Many have complained that there is not much new to the engine or many new features, it's just an expensive DLC.  I am a little sad that there weren't very many new things added, but the ones they did are really cool.  You can now make your own ammo and other supplies at various work tables.  Also introduced is the concept of reputation in addition of karma as how people react to you.  Other than that it's a lot of the same old GREAT game!  I can see that this will suck a LOT of time out of my weekends.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Review for Castlevania Lords of Shadow

I have always been rather hot and cold about the castlevania series.  I love the story behind them and the game design, but I was still pretty young when they came out for the most part and they were crazy hard so I got to a certain point then didn't enjoy them anymore out of frustration.  When I first heard about the Castlevania Lords of Shadow game I got really excited because I figured that as an adult i would be more capable of handling the challenges the game would pose to me.  So far I am right and I do enjoy the game very much.  It seems really reminiscent of a God of War-esque game with combos and upgrading combat skills through orbs received from fallen enemies, but it is a very enjoyable game.  The boss battles are so far are very epic!  I don't want to go into too much detail as this is still a very story driven game, but the fact that Patrick Stewart is a voice actor for one of the main characters and the narrator I think is amazing!  Unfortunatly I sent it back before I could complete it due to spending WAY too much time fighting camera angles and aimlessly wandering looking for some trinket every other level.  Good game, just not quite polished in my opinion.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Brotherhood of Wolves

For something new I decided to try out a French film. Avoiding all the crazy mushy romances I went with the brotherhood of wolves, or Le pacte des loupes. It was a really good movie, but it would suffer a bit in American cinema I think. First off, it is about 2.5 hours long. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the pacing is a little slow than what I am used to and there are some extraneous interactions that would be left on the cutting room floor. That being said the character development is odd in that you feel connected to the characters but not completely and not until the end.
The story takes place in the time of trickle hats and powdered wigs as they are everywhere! In a provence of France there are some mysterious killings by a horrible beast and the king's taxidermist and his loyal companion are sent to get to the bottom of matters.
I did enjoy the movie, had to push myself through some slow parts but felt rewarded by the ending.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

revamping the list

I have realized that after I made the 30/30 list some values in my life have changed and I will be restructuring it to reflect said changes. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kinect is here!

Kinect is HERE!  I'm not usually a day one adopter, but this is too cool to pass up.  Kinect is a series of 2 or 3 cameras that track your whole body and let you interact with the Xbox 360.  It also has a microphone for voice interaction as well.  The only downside of Kinect I've had so far is thta it take a LOT of room to use properly.  We had to rearrange our living room a little bit and everytime we want to play a Kinect game we have to push the coffee table one way and a chair the other way, but it's not horrible.

The Kinect comes bundles with Kinect Adventures.  This game makes great use of the Kinect.  There are 5 different games that you are challenged with they can be really intense!  Rallyball is like getting locked in a raquetball court with insane dodgeballs, but you want to get hit by the dodgeballs so they destroy blocks.  This was one of the demos that they first showed off the Kinect's (then Natal) potential.  My oldest's favorite game is Reflex Ridge.  This is the one that can have your heart rate up after a few minutes of play.  You have to duck, jump, sidestep and pose around obstacles to get adventure pins.  This game looks AMAZING!  I really wasn't expecting a bundle game to impress me as much as this does.  It's powered by Unreal technology for those who play games.  the soundtrack is well done too.  It's not uncommon for my oldest (or me) to be bopping along during downtimes or between adventures, and the fun thing is that your avatar will be mirroring your movements on screen.

The Kinect is a blast!  I have read a number of bad reviews for some of the launch games, but for the sensor itself and Kinect Adventures, it is a home run!  As is go get it and run home and play it now!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Angry birds

I don't pay for many iPod apps, but after it tried put the free demo and then got my wife hooked on Angry birds, I invested the $.99 for the full version. It comes with over 100 levels of maddeningly addictive catapult puzzles.
The game is hilarious and the sound effects are side splitting.  I'd you haven't tried it yet, you might be one of the last ones.

Assassin's creed

Seems that this fall has been the season of sequels for games. In that spirit, I've been playing the originals to find out their roots. I've been playing assassin's creed in anticipation for the third installment due out in November. I'm really enjoying this game. I played all the way through the second one and enjoyed every minute of it and this one is no different. There are a few differences between the two games, but none that make the older one unplayable in comparison to the newer one. These games don't have fast frantic action of a devil may cry game, it's more of a thinking and planning sort of killing game.
A great over arcing story ties it all together for a very enjoyable experience.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Read Scott Pilgrim vs the World

When I first heard about the movie Scott Pilgrim vs the World I was skeptical but it was toted as a love story for the 8-bit generation.  Then after seeing a few previews with graphics and addons that look straight from an old Nintendo game I was sold.  Since my ability to go to movie theaters is limited by my refusal to pay $10 per ticket then have to pay a babysitter on top of that I picked up the comics that inspired the movie.  There are 6 in all and I could only find 5 at the time of this writing but they were a joy to read.  Full of lots of humor and wit they were a great read.  Drawn in black and white except for a few color pages might be a hang up for a few people but it was easy enough to overlook once the story sucks you in.  Now after reading the comics I am very excited to see the movie and see how closely the characters are represented and the story followed.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Play Halo Reach

WOW!  That's what was on my mind the entire time I was playing Halo Reach.  A prequel set just before the events of Halo Combat Evolved on the original Xbox this game was Bungie's swansong for the Halo franchise.  Bungie is no longer under contract to make Halo games for Microsoft and they did an AMAZING job on this one.  The graphics and story are beyond expectation and the multiplayer (which is something I've never really clocked in on the previous games) is really fun and has over 18 modes to keep things from getting boring.  I really can't say enough about this game, if you are even considering buying it, DO IT.  If you have an Xbox 360, BUY IT.  It's that good, that's all I can manage to say...must get back to controller now.....

watch Ironman 2

I missed the opportunity to see Iron Man 2 in the theatres (I don't get to go to theatres much, not that I want to play $15 to see a movie) so I was really excited that it is finally out on DVD so I could see it.  I remember hearing people saying it was ok, mostly just more of the same of Iron Man 1 but I thought that is defiantly not a bad thing.  I really enjoyed it and this time I can sit and watch it with Gabs as she likes superhero movies.  There isn't a lot of over the top violence, but there is plenty of action.  I didn't let her see the first Iron Man movie for the torture and surgery sequences but this doesn't have any uber intense scenes like that.  There are lots of little hidden gems for people paying attention that hint towards the coming Avengers movie, but not a whole lot of fan lore in the Iron Man story like the first one. 

This is a well made movie, nothing really innovative or groundbreaking, but if you enjoyed the first one pick this up and you won't be sorry!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Read last Olympian

I finished up the last book in the Percy Jackson series and I must say that I am very glad that I read this series. It was entertaining nearly all the way through, had great characters, a good over-arcing storyline as well as episodic stories and the thing that I really appreciated was the conclusion to the story. I don't want to give much away, but I am getting tired of all these stories that feel the need to have the hero give up something for the good of everyone or sacrifice themselves to save the world. Now I'm not saying that selfishness is an endearing quality in heroes, but I feel that they should be genuinely rewarded from time to time without strings the size tow cables attached. I'm thoroughly happy with the clash of the huge armies, the final fight between Percy and Kronos, and the resolution after the battle. This series is wonderful and if you remotely like the Harry Potter series you should look into this series.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Expendables

I saw the trailer for The Expendables months ago and thought how great it is that they got all these iconic action stars together for a movie.  Well I was right an wrong.  The action sequences in this movie are pretty good, but the story is next to non-existant.  Someone told me this is the guy equivilant of a romance novel, whole lot of fluff, not a lot of substance.  Unfortunatly I can't even say the action sequences are all that amazing.  They seem to me sort of dated or just on par with the stars' other movies.  Nothing really over the top or memorable that is going to have me popping this in just to see a sequence over again (ie G.I. Joe Paris car chase...AMAZING!!!).  Over all, not a bad movie per say, just not as good of a movie as it could have been or I wished it was I guess.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Play Rock Band 2

I've been playing Rock Band 2 on and off for the better part of a year (I think it was a birthday present) and gotten pretty good at it.  I'm far from playing expert on more than a few songs but for the most part I play hard mode and do pretty well.  Well, after I finished up Halo 3 I was looking through my slim library of video games and remembered that I hadn't finished the tour in Rock Band so I put it in.  Turns out I was only a couple of cities away from finishing the tour and it only took a night or two.  I haven't played guitar hero franchise much, but I do like the rock band instruments much better than the guitar hero ones.  the songs and available library for download are comparable.  Rock Band 3 gets released in a month and has the option of pro level songs where you can actually learn chords and learn to play the songs from what I understand.  Sounds AWESOME to me!

Play Halo 3

With the upcoming Halo Reach release I realized I've played every halo game but halo 3.  I've enjoyed all of them (even ODST) and cannot wait until Reach so I had to know how the story "ended."  This was teh first halo on the 'next generation' consoles and it looks great.  The story telling was well done and clear as long as you can hear the audible cues (Sgt telling you to go to the river or such) but that can be difficult when playing during nap time or while people are talking to you so I missed a few of those.  Luckily if you take a while to start heading in the right direction a little chevron will appear on your HUD and point you in the right direction.  The only thing I can't really sink into is the multiplayer.  I've become a "realistic" combat multiplayer fan (ie Bad Company 2, Call of Duty) where a shot or two and you are done, but in Halo I've put a rocket within 3 feet of a guy and he survived to stick a shotgun up my nose then beat me over the head with it.  Just a COMPLETELY different kind of playing i think, but it has remained the number 2 in number of players playing on Xbox Live so it can't be bad.

All in all a great game, can't wait for Reach to come out!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Watch Love Guru

I was surfing through the netflix queue in kind of a bad mood due to being between games and kind of bored and saw the love guru listed and thought some mindless humor would do me some good. Boy was I right! I had a great time watching this with the wifey. She usually doesn't sit through "stupid humor" but she sat and laughed through this whole movie (I think it might have something to do with the amount of hockey featured on the movie) but I had a good time and really enjoyed the play on Indian words bey had in there like a little Indian town of Harrenmyasse.
This a good laugh to pick up, especially if you are a fan of hockey or the Buffalo/Toronto area.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tried some coffee

I have been looking over my list and saw an entry that should be pretty easy.  Try Coffee.  So while we were at target wifey got some mocha frappa whipped cream something or other from Starbucks (I don't get how many modifiers can you tag on to a coffee's name at that place) and she was really diggin it and she reminded me that it is an item on my list.  So I tried it.  BLECH!!!  I will admit that the horrible coffee taste was mostly masked by the chocolate and the whipped cream, but it was there.  To me it tastes of acidic burnt heartburn nastiness.  I know I'm in a minority (especially among those that work 3rd shift) but I'll happily take a cup of tea over coffee any day.  I think I'll give it another try to two but I'm crossing this off my list now as tried and shot down!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Meet Guamo!

I sat in on craft time last night and gabby wanted to make a new sock bunny and recruited my help.  By recruited she said could you help me and then wandered off to play while I made it.  I had a pretty good time, and learned how to do quite a few stitches.  But all said and done, meet Guamo, the old dirty bunny (made from my old used socks).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Watch Kingdom of Heaven

We went to the Great Lakes Medieval Faire this summer and it really peaked my interest into authentic medieval attire, combat, arms and armor.  I've seen many movies and most of them depict knights and warriors as being able to things that would be so physically hard to do while wearing a full set of armor most would not even attempt it.  In my internet searches I came across many redirections to costumes and replicas of Kingdom of Heaven.  It seems this movie took great pains to be historically accurate as possible.
History provided all the action and drama movie creators would need for this film.  I am not sure which crusade this was set in (I'm no expert on medieval history) but it ends when King Richard is headed to the holy land, if that gives you history buffs a time frame to work with (so right around the Robin Hood era).  When the movie begins it opens on grave diggers burying Baelin's (sp) wife.  A column of crusaders pass by and ask directions to the blacksmith and it happens to be the baron's bastard son Baelin whom he has come to take with him to the crusade.  After a fight in the forest the baron is injured and we all know that medieval medicine is not quite up to modern standards and Baelin succeeds his father and heads to Jerusalem to serve the Christian king. 
I don't want to give much away as there is much political intrigue that happens especially between the various orders of knights, but I was entertained through this very long (over 3 hours) movie.  I like how they didn't depict either side as "bad" just both wanted something and both felt entitled to it.  Pretty much how the various religions feel about it to this day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Watch Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition

I watched Fellowship of the Ring when it first came out in theaters quite some time ago (I'll have to check IMDB and get back to ya on that one) but I watched the extended edition for the first time this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised. 

I read the books just before the movies were done filming and was really impressed at how well they did on putting feel of the books on the screen.  With books as epic as the Lord of the Rings there will be parts left out to streamline the movie so the audience isn't sitting through a 6 hour movie but most books get made into terrible movies.  Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings are rare exceptions. 

With that being said, the movie is still amazing but as I was watching it it was fun to see what was left out of the original cut.  There is a whole sequence that is easily 10-20 minutes long that is new.  I'll grant that it wasn't uber important to the story and there is no detriment to it being left out in the original, but it was nice to see it there as someone who has read the books.

I love these stories and really enjoy the movies.  If you haven't seen them or read them please do yourself a favor and do so!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Read Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth

I finished up the next installment of the Percy Jackson series and I'm still really enjoying it.  This time the heroes head down to the Labyrinth of Minotaur fame.  In the Percy Jackson universe it has grown over the years and has spread over the entire of the US.  It is still really neat to hear about the mythological heroes and monsters in a new setting.  It really developed a character I don't particularly care for, but he is necessary for the development of the over arching story.  I can't wait to pick up the next one, I believe that will be the last one!!

Watch Cop Out

I picked Cop Out due to my long time enjoyment of Bruce Willis.  This was a fun comedy about a two cops who get in over their heads and get tangled up with a drug cartel while Bruce Willis' character is trying to give his daughter the wedding she always wanted.  There really isn't anything groundbreaking in this movie and my favorite scene happens in the first 20 minutes while they are interrogating a drug dealer and quoting movies.  It was fun, predictable, and felt a lot like the old cop comedies from the 80's.  Fun for a rental.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Watch repo men

When I first saw the title Repo Men I thought it would be a bad movie about some hilljack driving a tow truck. Turns out it's about a highly trained corporate organ harvester. In the future if your heart or kidneys or whatever go bad you no longer have to wait for a donor, science has made artificial organs available. But what happens when you can't pay for it? They get repo'ed out of you. How long can you live without your heart that someone just ripped out of you?
This was a pretty entertaining if gory action flick starring Jude Law and Forrest Whitaker. Good rental, dunno if it makes my keeper list.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Read titan's curse

I just finished Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse and couldn't finish it fast enough. I enjoyed every minute of it and look forward to reading the next one in the line. This is just about as entertaining as the Harry Potter series. It is good to see the Greek gods modernized and thrown into main stream culture. I really recommend this series.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Play Alan Wake

I started my GameFly subscription back up and the first game I received was Alan Wake.  I have read/heard many rave reviews about this game and they are justly deserved.  I've only gotten to the third episode as of this writing but the story, graphics and gameplay are amazing.  The thing that really amazes me is that instead of levels each interval is structured like a TV episode complete with theme song, title shot and "previously on Alan Wake...".  This is an amazing game about a writer who comes up to the pacific northwest to get a break and try to re-energize to get his creative juices flowing again and mysterious and firghtening things begin to happen in the dark.  He must fight people and creatures who are shrouded in darkness to try to find his abducted wife.

AWESOME game, you owe it to yourself to play this if you own a 360!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Make something

Last weekend we went to the Great Lakes Medieval Faire and had a BLAST!  There was so much to see and do and eat it was amazing.  Looking around it got me to thinking that I can make some of these costumes as I did really good in home ec when I was in high school.  After cruising around the merchants it really got me wanting to try my hand at leatherworking.  So that's it blogosphere!  My make something is going to be something leather; be it a pouch, belt, or some medieval attire, I'm on my way! 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Watch Brooklyn's Finest

I sat down to watch Brooklyn's Finest with the expectation of a good cop/bad cop or a dirty cop getting his justice type of movie in mind.  There is some of that but there is very little of the satisfaction curve most people are used to in movies.  There's not a lot of the conflict and the satisfying resolution type of thing going on, it's mostly a depressing take on how much it sucks to be a cop.  There's not a lot of the "I'm glad I'm a cop and I'm helping people" vibe in this movie at all.  This was just a very long downer type of movie for me.

Here's the link to it on IMDB Brooklyn's finest

I don't have a lot good to say about this, maybe because it hits close to home on a few subjects, but I also think that cops in big cities have a bad enough reputation and they don't need movies like this to bring it down further.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Watched hot tub time machine

Maybe I'm starting to get old or perhaps I just don't get the new flavor of humor but as I was watching hot tub time machine I kept waiting and waiting for the big laughs but they just didn't happen. I felt that way about the hangover too, so if you thought that was an amazing movie you might enjoy this one. To me this just felt like a sad movie about someone who looked back on the past and wished they could relive it and change a few things in their favor. It just felt really sad and depressing for most of the movie.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Watch The Losers

I picked the Losers solely because I saw a friend of mine watch it on Xbox Live.  I didn't know what it was about other than the short blurb on the movie description so it was really nice not having any expectations going into a movie.  I gotta admit I really enjoyed it.  It's a fun, over the top, action movie.  Wifey said it was like a comic book movie (largely due to the intro I think) but it fits with all the archetypes, insane explosions, action sequences.  I didn't recognize too many actors but there weren't any glaring performance botches.  It's a fun movie about a group of special forces that get betrayed by a higher up so they have to go on the lamb and try to get their lives back by seeking revenge against someone they only know by voice and name.  I had a good time with it you if you like movies like Rambo or Commando then this a a good pick for you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

play Plants vs Zombies

I played the demo of Plants versus Zombies (PvZ) at the apple store on one of the iPad demos a little while ago and it had everything unlocked and didn't really have time to learn the game, so I went home and downloaded the demo for the computer and LOVED it.  I bought the full version for the iPod touch (it was much cheaper and I could enjoy it while on jury duty) and zoomed through it and loved every minute of it.  It is by Popcap games who put out other great games like Peggle and Bejeweled.  PvZ has a great sense of humor about it and lots of strategy as to how you will spend your resource (sunshine) to effectively build your defense against the oncoming zombie horde.  The changes in locale from front yard, to back yard w/ a pool and then too the roof as well as day and night battles make for fun challenges.  There are lots of mini games thrown in to break the routine too. 
I HIGHLY recommend this to any ipad/pod/phone user and anyone who can play flash games on their computer too.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Watch G.I. Joe rise of the Cobra

I watched GI Joe with the Leary heart of a kid who loved the toys back in the 80's and if taken only in that aspect it failed, but in it's own right it is a very enjoyable movie that has names of the old tv show thrown in for flavor. Lots of explosions and some slapstick from Marlon Wayans make for a nice diversion and an awesome chase scene in Paris.

Watched Supersize Me

I watched (most of) Supersize Me with the wifey the other day on Netflix, and like Food Inc., it was very eye opening.  If you haven't heard, the lead in the movie (it feels weird calling him an actor or researcher) undergoes an experiment where he eats McDonald's for every meal for 30 days and documents the physical and medical changes to him as he goes along.  He starts off as a very fit person and by the end he has trouble climbing the stairs to his apartment.  He gains over 10% of his body weight, and the stats at the end of the film about how much fat, sugar and such he has consumed are astounding.  He goes though and researches other aspects of the fast food industry as well.  I think this a good film to watch especially if you find yourself in the drivethrough line more often than you think you should be.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review of She's Out of My League

I sat down to watch she's out of my league after reading that it's "the funniest movie since the hangover." now I wasn't a huge fan of the hangover, but it was generally considered a really funny movie. So after I started it I realized I watching for a romantic comedy, not just a normal one. So as I readjusted myself, I started to enjoy it and really identify with the main character. It's a classic story of a guy with not a lot going in his life meets a girl who has everything going right for her and falls in love with her.
The token appearance of the ex is thrown in for conflict, which is neither surprising or original, but it's not heavily stressed so that's good.
I enjoyed he movie, it was primarily fluff without a lot of substance but a good diversion.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Watch the Crazies

My wife and I watched the Crazies for a fun thrill. It was a pretty good zombie-ish movie. I really enjoy movies with Timothy olyphant and he did a really good job in this one as well. While not a true zombie movie, it is very much in the feel of the genre. It was a good time, not too sacry but just enough.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Watch wolfman

I watched the new wolfman with Anthony Hopkins and benicio del toro. It was a pretty goood movie though admittedly I have never seen the classic monster fick. The story developed well, but predictably and the transformations were really well done.  I don't think this is a classic but worth a rental for sure.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Watch Book of Eli

I sat down to watch Book of Eli, and made the mistake o listening to some reviews beforehand.  It got some mediocre reviews so I wasn't expecting anything special, just perhaps to spend a couple hours relaxing on the couch. 
Wow was I wrong! 
I'm a fan of post apocolyptic themed stuff to begin with (Fallout, , etc.) but i was really impressed with how it was handled here.  It wasn't something that people talked about on end, but you could tell it happened a long time ago and people are just dealing with it, looking for ways to get by.  Eli comes into the story as carrying a symbol of hope and single mindedly carrying it west.  There is some great character development and twists here.
This made it to one of my top 10 movies....pick it up!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Review of Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is one of those "open world" games set back in the wild west just as the railroad starts to bring the easterners towards the wild country.  You play as a bounty hunter and can really determine how the populous views you.  You can choose to do good deeds and increase your "honor" or rob and steal and decrease it.  There are also lots of side quests to do and collectables to find.  I just started the Marksmanship challenges where you have to shoot birds out of the air or coyotes before they have the chance to attack you (PETA calm down...they are only pixels).

There is also a mulitplayer aspect of this game I look forward to trying where you can roam about the open world and encounter bandits, have mulitplayer deathmatches and duels or form a posse and go bounty hunting.

A great game that is beatiful to behold.  I highly recommend picking this one up

Friday, May 14, 2010

review of Splinter Cell: Conviction

I'm usually a pretty big fan of Tom Clancy's games, they require more thought than Rambo tactics and are usually pretty accurate to life. The splinter cell series is no different. Conviction picks up with Sam Fisher totally washing his hands of Third Echelon and looking for clues into his daughter's death. Through manipulation and threat to a nation that betrayed him but he still loves he gets sucked back into a world of stealth action that he knows too well.

In this game they implemented a few changes that really upset the purist in the fan base. I'll admit that I often had a hard time completing a splinter cell game due to the insane difficulty level. It was toned down considerably and made more of an action game. Think more Jason Bourne movie vs something if the bad guy spots you he is going to call 20 of his gun toting friends and make it impossible for you to succeed.

I really enjoyed the game and thought the story was very good and well presented. It was kind of short but very worth the time.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Read The Road to Oz

I picked up the road to oz as I found it under the free classics in the kindle store. It was a nice little journey through the outer counties the surround the kingdom of oz and it made many references to Dorothy's other adventures in oz. The book was pleasant, short and moved along well. The end got a little tedious naming guests to a birthday party, but not unbearable. It was a pleasant diversion with familiar characters.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Review of Food, Inc.

So far all my movies I've watched have been for entertainment but since wifey has been on a big documentary kick and this movie came recommended by a podcast I regularly watch I queued it up on netflix.  Food Inc is an eye opening insight into how the food industry as a whole is ruining our health in favor of a profit.  I'm sure everyone has heard about growth hormones and steroids in our meat, but the see the extent of the tampering and to see why we are getting e.coli from vegetables was shocking.  I cannot due this film justice by relating stories of chicken coops or massive slaughterhouses, I truly recommend you see this and weight the true cost of your food.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Review of Apocolypse Now

I picked up this movie due to it being referred as a classic in many circles and being referenced in multitudes of other media. It is a very shocking and graphic look at Vietnam war. It is also the longest movie I think I've ever watched clocking in at just under three and a half hours. It was really cool to see the original part of the movie where the quote "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" comes from. What really surprised me is that this being Marlon Brando's famous role (aside from Godfather) he is in the film very little.
I don't think I would recommend this film to everyone but to all film buffs it should be on the must see list.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Review of Percy Jackson: the lightning thief

I was looking for a new series to get into and I happened to catch the trailer for the light ing thief so I thought I'd give the book a try while I wait for the DVD release. Also my wife said I'd be able to get through it without a whole lot of difficulty. I must say that I really enjoyed this book. I know that it is geared fir a much younger
audience, but the reading was fairly easy and the pace was never dull or slow. I felt the characters were developed well and I really enjoyed the story.
The only down note I can think of is that i've read numerous reviews that the movie is really nothing like the book. I know that should not be a mar on the book, but the author should keep tighter control over their property. The Harry potter books turned out amazing. I look forward to reading the next book and seeing the movie to see if it is all as bad as the critics say.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Review of New Moon

With the DVD release of the twilight saga's second installment "New Moon" I felt inclined to review it. Now to preface this, I think if I even thought about giving this a bad review I may be staked in my bed by my wife who adores the books and the movies, but truthfully this is a well produced movie. I have not read the books, so I do not have that to compare the trueness to, but to compare the first movie to the second there is a marked improvement in acting, effects, and general polish. I have enjoyed fiction about vampires and werewolves since I was little, but this series brings the battle to the forefront and makes it the vogue thing all the cool kids are doing. Also one rather undesired effect this movie has had on the youth of America, it seems it has taken the what used to be small and unpopular depressive emo crowd and made them the norm and default emotion for teenagers. Looking back (to when dinosaurs roamed the earth) I don't remember that many kids being so depressed in high school. But I digress. The movie itself is very enjoyable, and I do recommend seeing it, if just to understand what all the pop culture fuss is about.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review of the Road

 The road is a movie about a father and son as they try to survive a nuclear winter and all the death and decay it brings. Most movies of this type usually follow how the lead characters survive the actual event but this movie shows what is happening five years after and the collapse of mankind and how food has become scarce and the chief fear is cannibalism. This is a very depressing movie with very few and far between light moments, which fits the story and mood of the film. The movie is very long as well clocking in at nearly two hours. I honestly don't know if I'd recommend it, Viggo Mortensen delivers a great performance but I don't think it's enough to recommend the movie on. If you like apocalyptic movies then give it a whirl, but it may not be worth your time if you don't enjoy that genre.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Read Through the Looking Glass

I read through the looking glass in hopes to shed a little more light on the new Disney movie. While there were Some things mentioned in the book, it was not the book the movie was based off of. I wonder if the movie is based off a book at all or just the Alice universe. This book, like all the books in Wonderland, seems filled with udder nonsense. The version I had did not have any of the poems (it was the free version) so I may have missed out on a little. There were a few things in the movie that are mentioned here, like catching a bandersnatch, but this book seems to be about a romp through a chess game with strange Wonderland creatures on each different square that Alice must cross. It was a short read and if you are caught up in Alice in Wonderland fever then by all means pick it up.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dual review of Time Machine

Similar to War of the Worlds, I read and watched the time machine. Once again the book and the movie differ , but this time it seems they vary greatly. The book once again takes place in London while the movie follows an American professor. One thing the book does that is very unique is that it never assigns a name to the main character, it just calls him the time traveler. The movie makes the traveler's goals of creating the machine a little less noble and more selfish, but many of the book's values remain intact. Questioning the industrial revolution and man's self destructive nature. I like how these classic books usually have a moral of some sorts, so we can better ourselves by reading them.
To cap it off, I would recommend the book highly, the movie could be missed without much detriment.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Review of Alice in Wonderland

I got to see the new Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland and really enjoyed it. I heard a few bad reviews, but I think most of them were really misinformed and were basing the review off the Disney cartoon. I am under the impression that this is based off the second book, "Through the Looking Glass". I have yet to read it but the movie is really well made. It follows an older Alice as she heads back into wonderland. Most of the wonderland characters are CG animations with the actors faces imposed on the body. The effect was executed beautifully and fit well within a Burton universe.
All in all I recommend this movie, the story was enjoyable and the imagery was amazing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

See Princess and the Frog

Disney's latest animated film got released on DVD this week and I was eager to see how it was. It seems like it has been a while since there has been a Disney animated movie, they have been computer graphics in the flavor of toy story and cars. This movie was also the first time Disney made the princess black and not dependent on a prince charming to swoop in and give her the happily ever after she dreams of. I really like the movie's message of wishing gets you part way there but hard work will carry you on through. Also I really have to give Disney credit for executing this film flawlessly. There were many racial pitfalls to dance around but they did an awesome job of it.
The story was good, a more modern take on a classic, and the music was very enjoyable.  All in all, it's exactly what you expect from Disney.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

See Boondock Saints 2: All Saint's Day

I've made it a St. Pat's day tradition to watch Boondock Saints and last year they released the sequel to theaters without much fanfare ( I think largely due to it competing with Avatar) and now the DVD release just in tome for St. Pat's is perfect. I love the first one and this one keeps the same mood, tempo and feel. If you haven't seen the first one won't enjoy this one as much than if you know the character's back stories.
This is a great sequel and will be added to my St. Pat's tradition!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dual review of War of the Worlds

This is going to be a dual review of War of the Worlds. I read the classic novel this week and wanted to cap it off by watching the recent movie with Tom cruise. I'll start off with my thoughts on the novel. It was written some time ago so the verbiage can be difficult to grasp at times and it's set in London and I'm not too familiar with that area, but the author does a great job of relaying the curiosity that turns to terror as the Martians land and start ravaging the human race.
The film adaptation grasps the general feel of the book, but varies greatly. It's set in more modern times in America and it follows a father with his children instead of a husband. The imagery is very well done and it does line up with what a lot of what I think the Martians would look like, but there is a lot of creative license taken to stretch the book to two hours of movie.
I enjoyed both and think it would be a great idea for teachers to get students to compare and contrast them so they get exposed to the classic literature s well as pop culture version.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Review of Bad Company 2

I picked up bad company 2 after trying the multiplayer beta out on xbox live and really enjoying it. The multiplayer stresses teamwork and communication over lone wolf tactics and Rambo run and gun techniques. The fact that most of the players in Modern Warfare employ that methodology kept me from buying that game. I'm really starting to enjoy the online game (a rare thing for me) and the single player campaign is challenging. One of the best things about the game that takes getting used to is the fact that nearly all buildings are destructible. It makes tactics change when enemies are guarding a door you can blow a hole in the wall with a grenade or a skylight with C4.
I like this game mostly because it isn't something BRAND new, but it's a new seasoning on a familiar dish.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review Mass Effect 2


Where to begin with game? I never got around to playing the first game and now I truly regret I didn't. The story in this game is so rich and deep that the dialog sections are almost as enjoyable as the combat and missions. The game almost plays like a movie and the way the dialog choices are set up you pick a "feel" for how you want to respond as opposed to reading out your entire response beforehand. I think that this feature alone makes the dialog more enjoyable to experience.
I can't write enough positive stuff about this game. If you own an xbox360 you owe it to yourself to at LEAST rent the game.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Watched Time Traveler's Wife

I watched time traveler's wife at the recommendation of my wife. It was a decent story with some good acting, but this definitely strays from my realm of usual picks. This falls under the category of sappy sad lo e stories that I never understood why chicks enjoy watching movies that make them sad but wifey really enjoyed it so it must be a good chick flick. Not a lot I walked away with thinking was great or memorable, but again, this is not my usual genre. I'll close by saying it's a good movie, just not my favorite flavor of ice cream.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Read A Game of Thrones

I just finished reading "A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin which is a pretty hefty midievil fantasy novel and the first in a series that is to span 7 books.  The book follows the Stark family and some other characters ranging from outlaws, knights, and rival lords.  Usually if I pick up this kind of book there is a fair amount of magic, dragons, etc in it but most of what this book is about a honorable lord that gets pressed into service as the king's Hand (the guy who runs the kingdom because the king is off having too much fun) and his conflict between friendship, honor and uncovering a consipiracy.  A LOT of political manuvering happens and it is done in such a way that it is actually entertaining.  I'm looking forward to getting the 2nd book started.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Read Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks

I received this as a gift for Christmas and was immensely thrilled.  I had the first two books by Max Brooks (Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z) and LOVED them.  Unfortunately I loaned them out and they were never returned.
I didn't know that this book was just a graphic novel style depiction of the recorded attacks listed in the Zombie Survival Guide, but I still really liked it.  The art was really good and the stories were true to the Zombie Survival Guide.  This is nothing really fancy, but it definitely has a slot on my if I could just get my first two books back...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I picked up the Kindle app for my iPod touch and a number of the free books that it had to offer as well.  I was a big fan of the new Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downy Jr so I gave "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" attention first.  It was fun, but not an easy read.  The older style of writing, coupled with a few formatting errors made it difficult to get caught up in the flow of the story, but once I got into it the logic behind Holmes was amazing and entertaining.  At times it felt more of a chore than a recreational read, but I've read far worse.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Review of Whiteout

Whiteout starring Kate Beckinsale is a movie about a US Marshal assigned to an Antarctic international research station.  As the movie opens the base is packing up for the six month "night" and most of the personnel are packing up to leave but when a pilot discovers a dead body on the ice Marshal Carrie (Beckinsale) must investigate before the sun sets for six months.

I enjoyed this movie, it wasn't too heavy on plot or scares, but it did have a really good twist that I didn't see coming.  

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review of Halo :Legends

I recently go to watch Halo Legends a collection of 7 short films taking place in the Halo universe.  This kinda reminds me of the Animatrix, a similar collection of movies but set in the Matrix movies.  The Halo movies are very different and have different themes and art styles (one even uses CG), but many of the movies use the familiar Halo score and music so they are all bound and flow together.  These were all available on the Halo Waypoint on Xbox Live on Saturdays but are all collected here.

I really enjoyed all the short stories and would love to see more.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ghostbusters the game review

I've always been a fan of the Ghostbuster movies, it's something I grew up on.  When I heard that they were making a Ghostbuster video game I was more than skeptical (most movie games kinda suck) but then I found out that the designers got the original actors to do the voice overs!  Oh yes, Venkman, Winston, Egon, and Ray are back in their full pixel glory and it sounds the same.  They even got Janine!  Actors aside they story is great and it's presented as if it was a movie in the series, movie credits and all.  The player is cast as a rookie in the ghostbuster crew they the ghostbusters are using to test experimental equipment on, so that means beside your usual proton pack, you get slime blowers and shock blasters and more.  It's a fun , but short trip through a childhood favorite.

On a side note, Netflix just recently put the 2nd movie on their instant watch list and my youngest daughter LOVES it.  We've watched it a few times and it really got me in the mood to play this game.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Birthday Tattoo!!

So here it is!  My BIRTHDAY TATTOO!!!  It's the Bodhi Tree that Buddha achieved enlightenment under.  I had a great time at Voodoo Monkey Inc over on West 25th here in "sunny" Cleveland.  Doug did a great job and was fun to chat w/ for the 2 hours it took.

Here's the first item crossed off my list!!  WOOHOO!! This is the drawing that Doug went off of and the final result:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saw Zombieland

It's no secret I LOVE zombie movies.  I'm also a big fan of what my wife calls "stupid humor" (think Super Troopers, The Hangover, etc) so I was very excited for this movie to come out on DVD (I don't get to see a lot of movies at the theatre...I don't think it's worth it to pay $20 to see a movie once).
I gotta say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  I thought it was funny how the characters were named after places they were from or going and the way Columbus's Zombieland Survival Guide tips popped up in scene at appropriate times.  This was a very enjoyable hour and a half that kept a good pace and didn't lose my attention at all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Castle Crashers Review

I purchased Castle Crashers an XBOX Live Arcade game shortly before the holidays.  I fell in love with it instantly.  It brought back so many memories from the old NES and SNES games like double dragon, Final Fight, TMNT, and River City Ransom.  It's a side scrolling arcade fighter (not like Street Fighter) with a great sense of humor.  The first time I fought the CATfish boss I was laughing so hard I nearly died (in game of course :) There are lots of stuff to find and collect, and you can hop online and play w/ up to 3 other people.

This was only 800 MS Points (about $10) and I think it's well worth the money.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fallout 3 Review

I bought Fallout 3 on it's release back in 10/28/2008.  So why am I reviewing it now?  Well it's partly because I've never had a need to review a game, and partly because I keep picking it up and playing it.  Bethesda has added many hours of gameplay through Downloadable Content.  There is not much I can find at fault with this game, the scenery is beautiful and the story if well thought out and lengthy.  Also there are miles and miles of wasteland to explore with side quests to keep you busy for hours beyond the main quest line.  There are many head nods to pop culture icons (the main character's armor can look like Mad Max) and allusions to the first two games (which Bethesda had nothing to do with) that make the observant smile in between supermutant skirmishes and ghoul battles.

All in all a GREAT game and I can't wait till the new Fallout comes out in the fall.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Assassin's Creed 2 Review

Assassin's Creed 2 is the direct sequel to Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed (that met with mixed reviews).  I am very thoroughly impressed with this installment.  The graphics, story, and gameplay are amazing.  It's thrilling to climb up the side of a massive palazzo, run across town to find a target and jump off a roof and assassinate a Borgia courier.  There is a lot of things to see and collect (if you are the type that enjoys completing every aspect of a game) beyond the main story line.

The story line is one of family, betrayal, conspiracy, and hidden societies set against 1400's Italia.

A very good game, I don't see much replay value beyond the first time through, so I recommend this as a rental, especially if you have a no due date rental service as GameFly.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Batman Arkham Asylum Reviewed

One of my favorite games of 2009 was Batman Arkham Asylum. The story was written by a guy (his name escapes me) who used to write for the animated series. He came up with a brand new story, instead of trying to tie it into a movie which was a great move as the story is GREAT. Batman returns the Joker to Arkham only to have the Clown Prince take over the Asylum and the inmates become his personal gang, inculding the high profile ones like Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.
They gameply was really good, a wonderful mix of puzzle and action I haven't had since Metroid Prime. Lots of exploring, collecting and stealth in this game.
The only thing that detracts from this game is it's length. It felt short. The story moved at a good pace, but it would have been nice to add a few more "bosses" or someother story twists.
A great game that is worth a look.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Progress on my mile time

I was pressed for time last night and instead of running a slower speed for 20 min I turned up the speed to compensate for the shorter time.  It ended up being my fastest mile since I've used this Nike+ sensor at just over 8min/mile. Here's the link.  I'm a lot closer than I thought and I might be able to get my 7:30 mile if all I was doing was a mile.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Get a Tattoo!

I made my appointment to get my tattoo on my birthday. I'm getting the Tree of Life on my left shoulder at Voodoo Monkey Inc. The tattooist, Doug, said it should take about 1.5 to 2 hours to finish. I'm excited and nervous. I've been wanting to get a tattoo for a couple years, and I finally found something that means a lot to me. I don't think the pain is gunna be a big deal, I just pulled off my dead fingernail because I got tired of it catching on stuff, but it's the unknown degree of it that makes me anxious.

I'll add pics of my shoulder on Monday when I get it done!!

Here it is!

A good friend of mine just made the jump into the blog world with a blog devoted to doing 30 things before her 30th birfthday. She and I are just about the same age (she's 2 months older I believe) and it got me thinking about what I would like to accomplish before I hit my 3 decade mark. I tried to think of things that would enrich me or I'd be glad I did. Also I figure that if I write them down I'll actually do it. I'm having a hard time coming up with 30, and I'll admit that I took some straight of my friend's list but I thbink I came up with some good ones too. So here's my list.

Read 30 books (the kindle iPod app is gunna be huge for this)
Review 30 games
See 30 movies
Go camping
Go deer hunting
Attend a trade show or seminar
Build something functional for our home (cabinet, bench, etc)
Draw a self portrait
Buy a motorcycle
Buy a gun
Run a 7:30 mile
Go rock climbing
Try out a martial art
Learn tea ceremony
Get a tattoo
Learn a craft (whittling?)
Shed all consumer debt
Try composting
Learn italian
Make a weekly blog feature
See a "show"
Join a police org (blue knights, FOP)
Meet a real buddhist monk
Shoot a M4 rifle
Learn shaolin workout
Try coffee
Get a massage
Give blood
Make own dried fruit snacks
Meditate in a park

Well, that's my list, I might edit it as I consider it more but I like most of the items on it.

Wish me luck :)