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Wreck it Ralph may be the best movie I’ve seen this year. It is only March, but damn that was fun. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for retro. It’s certainly true that my favorite Community episode was the “video game” one. Probably my favorite thing in the movie… Well out is super subtle, but once you notice it you can’t not see it. The little people in Ralph’s game all movie with jerky 8 bit styling, that is, if you’ve played any really old games, you know the sprites only have a few frames of animation, and even upscaled to high resolution they retain the low frame rate.

Another thing i really liked was the Sgt. Calhoun’s cursing. It sounded so eloquent and dirty all at the same time. “All right, ladies! The kitten-whispers and tickle fights stop NOW!” Contrast that with Felix’s super cute, super polite style of talking. Even when he was obviously trying to curse, it sounded like the cutest thing ever.

If you haven’t seen this yet, by all means do so. A lot of fun, and a well spent hour an a half. I’ll let you know when I see something that is better.



I want to like Don Delillo. I want to like China Meiville. I some times have a hard time doing so. People are probably going to give me crap for this, but I feel like both writers can be pretentious for sake of being pretentious. Maybe my brain has been “normalized” by watching so much trashy Hollywood pap that I can’t maintain enough brainpower to properly appreciate the fictions they create. Maybe I was too busy playing games on my smart phone or taking over the universe on my computer to properly appreciate the nuanced human emotion and random sex happening throughout the movie. Or maybe everyone who likes them so much is trying to compensate for the fact that they didn’t really understand by proclaiming how awesome they are. I mean, if can’t understand it, it must be because it’s good and I’m dumb, not because it’s bad.

So, having watched the whole movie, and theoretically paid attention to most of it  (spoilers incoming)… I still am not sure what exactly the point was. Young, Wealthy, Sexy, Vampire spends all day driving across town to get a haircut. People come to entreat him, suffer verbal abuse from him, and/or have sex with him. There are riots, a funeral, live TV stabbings and general chaos throughout the day long trip. Lots of verbal sparring that probably seemed much more clever than it was. Or maybe it was clever, and the disaffected attitude everyone was copping turned me off.

I thought maybe, maybe,  things were going to get interesting when the riot happened… but no. He kills his bodyguard for no good, or discernible reason. He has a drawn out conversation with Paul Giamatti, which probably would have been the best part of the movie if it had even pretended to make sense. Basically this whole movie feels like a double fantasy… but not the good kind, no the kind where the fantasy is that the author is the main character (EG Mary Sueism) who is a wealthy wealthy person who is having a fantasy themselves about how awesome reality is for them, even when they’re desperately trying to destroy their own reality.

Basically I am disappoint. Maybe I’m a philistine, but I think I enjoyed Expendables 2 more, poor acting, bad acting and terrible acting, as well as the cheesy and poorly delivered one liners … I think it was still more fun than this one.

Total Recall (1990) Thailand

Note, this is a review of the 2012 reboot, not the Thailand release of the original. The picture is just there to confuse you.

Alternate Ending that we can all enjoy:

Dougie Houser and his wife and his girlfriend all get on VTOL craft before the “fall ship” falls and fly away and have an awesome threesome… that may just be a standard option at Rekall though.

So all told, there is a lot of dumb in this movie. Then again, the original was only way better (but also had it’s own share of dumb). I’ll admit, this has WAY better graphics, and some nice twists and turns. It’s certainly fun, you just have to turn your brain off before you even start. Basically, yeah, watch it, but don’t expect everything to be awesome forever, unless you only care about CGI, keen action scenes and triple breasted whores.

So watching this movie has made one thing clear, I need to create a Total Recall RPG. I’m already churning ideas over in my head but here’s the basics… I’ll use the basic Apocalypse World system, except each player will get 2-5 characters at the start and they’ll each secretly pick which is their “star” character. Individual characters will have various stats highlighted, and various moves available. XP is awarded as normal for doing “highlighted moves” but XP can be spent 1 for 1 to increase rolls. Missed a roll by 1, spend an XP. At the end of every scene the Story Moderator will grant 1 XP to someone for whatever reason they feel like.

Scenes will be framed, and time will be skipped, and ideally everyone will be kept on their toes. A meta-narrative will be developed based on the conjoined impetus of the players, but nothing definite will be defined before-hand. A single player will be the actual “main character” but who that is will be determined by the Story Moderator based on the story creation of the players. Bonus XP can be awarded for keeping things in theme.

Basically this will either end up being awesome or a travesty.

red lights cover

Let me get it out of the way, if you don’t like spoilers don’t read this review. Just be prepared to rage-quit in the last 5 minutes of the movie. However this is a movie about psychic powers so you should already know how the movie ends right?

Well, the ending really really bothers me. Not because I don’t believe in that kind of thing. While I don’t, I do love a good fantasy. So here’s how the movie runs down: Sigourney Weaver is a professional skeptic. Her son is on life support, and has been for a decade or more. She won’t let him die because she doesn’t believe in the afterlife. Cillian Murphy is her plucky side-kick. Together they solve crimes, and defeat evil psychics and charlatans. Robert De Niro is the biggest baddest psychic, who retired years ago. Turns out De Niro is a fraud, and rather than being a physicist Murphy really is a psychic and uses his psychic powers to make De Niro look like the fraud he is. He then claims that he did it for her (Weaver) but regrets that it’s too late for her to know, and intimates she should have pulled the plug on her son.

Do you see the logical disconnect here? All I ask from my fantasy, and I don’t think it’s much, is a little internal consistency. This makes me rage.   So we find out in the end that Paranormal stuff IS real after all… there’s an afterlife, ghosts and all that junk… but because Weaver died before it was discovered she won’t be able to go to heaven and be reunited with her son… because why? Murphy should have been happy. Weaver’s going to find out she was wrong and get reunited with her kid in the afterlife. Doesn’t get much better than that!

So here’s the thing about the afterlife, there are really only a couple of options.

1) When you die, you’re dead, that’s it there’s nothing else.

2) When you die you go on existing.

Now if reality is 1, it doesn’t matter what you believe … you won’t get any sort of gratification for being right, or punishment for being wrong… you won’t be.

However if option 2 is reality, then if you’re an atheist (read skeptic) you’re probably pleasantly surprised to find there is an afterlife after all.

Unless we’re talking Job: A Comedy of Justice, what happens to you when you die isn’t actually based on what you believe though…



So here’s the sad truth, if you’ve watched Castle this movie is going to be sadly disappointing for you. I’ll be honest, it’s made me really eager to see the next season of the show. So here’s the premise of the pilot episode of Castle… Mystery writer Richard Castle is a suspect in a case where a serial killer is imitating the grisly murders he’d previously written in his book. He then helps solve the crime, everyone wins … well except for the people who were murdered of course…

In The Raven it’s the same thing, except instead of Nathan Fillion we’ve got John Cusack doing his best Nicholas Cage impression, and instead of Stana Katic we’ve got Luke Evans… the two don’t have quite the same chemistry, but that’s okay, this isn’t a love story. Oh wait, it kind of is… SPOILERS: Poe’s love interest plays a huge role in the story, even if she has almost no role in the film… Alice Eve does do a pretty decent job the few minutes she’s given screen time.

I did quite enjoy reading Poe back in the day, so I guess part of the reason I’m so harsh on it is that I wanted to like it more than it ended up deserving. Or maybe I’ve just been spoiled by how quality Castle is. Still watching it isn’t a total waste of time; just push your expectations down a notch or two before you start and you might end up being pleasantly surprised.

timetravelad__spanSo for a Sci-Fi movie about time travel, there is in fact very little of the trappings you might expect. Usually I’m pretty willing to countenance spoilers, as I’ve found (and heard told) that having the plot spoiled for you can often enhance the movie. There are some times though where watching or reading something without spoilers can be worthwhile, and this is definitely one of those cases.

So the premise is based on a joke ad published in ’97 in Backwoods magazine to fill space. It later hit the internet (YTMND for instance) before finally becoming a movie last year. All told the movie is more about people than time travel. Many have regrets that maybe time travel could fix … but maybe just meeting the right person could. Regardless the movie does a great job of keeping the big reveal a secret until the final moments of the movie. Hell, to be honest, they could probably go either way if they did a sequel… though I’m not sure how awesome a sequel w/out actual time travel would be.

It was pretty fun. I might bother to watch it a second time sometime, knowing now how it probably ends. I certainly wouldn’t purchase the movie, or force my friends to watch it. If you’ve got the opportunity to watch it though, by all means do so.

So I watch a lot of movies, and I’ll be honest if the movie is good, or mediocre, I probably won’t care enough to review it. So I just finished Snow White & the Huntsman … and it was almost good enough to count as mediocre.

So of course the biggest problem with the movie is that Keanu Reeves (who isn’t in the movie) looks like the most emotional dude ever in comparison with Kristin Stewart. I’ll admit I was surprised, as I’ve been the internet a few times so of course had heard it intimated that she only has the one expression.

Next (and this is probably actually a bigger complaint, it’s just less obvious) is that if you’re going to have a movie with a female lead, especially one where she’s going to dress up in armor and run around with a sword and shield, please, for the love of Pete, let her actually kick a little bit of ass! By my count she stabbed a guy who was being held by another guy. Got grabbed and beat ineffectively against the grabber until someone else killed him. Then ran away from the fight to have her epic battle with the queen, which was also pretty lame.

On the bright Ian McShane (aka Al Swearengen) and Toby Jones where both dwarves, which was pretty awesome.