Posts Tagged ‘30th’

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Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition

December 30, 2011

I…have a history with this game. I was in college, and it was right around the time that the game came out – which would make it my fourth year. I was taking a class in either 3D modeling or animation, and my teacher had the game. It was right around Spring Break, so the course was already over (despite the fact that we had one more week of class – still can’t exactly figure that out), the final projects were handed in, and Mr. V. brought in his desktop, rigged it to the projector, and we all took turns playing the game (If I remember right,  he also brought in the leaked work print of the movie sometime earlier).

I remember being blown away by the visuals back then, and they’ve aged remarkably well in almost three years. The only little fault I find is the wound texture. During the game, as Wolverine takes ungodly amounts of punishment wounds will start showing up on his body. The textures are a little jagged, but the fact that they appear and recede based on your health is pretty cool.

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Unfinished Business: Blazing Saddles

November 8, 2011

(Note: I was working on this review right about the time my grandmother was ill. Unfortunately, we all remember how that turned out. I’ll be back with new reviews later this week.)

Finally, Mel Brooks’ gentle parody of westerns, Blazing Saddles! Yes, another Mel Brooks film, and only the second with Gene Wilder. This time, we head back to the old west in 1874, where construction on a new railroad runs into trouble in the form of quicksand. Those running the construction decide to re-route it through Rock Ridge, a peaceful frontier town inhabited by Johnsons. After a gang of thugs by Attorney General Hedley Lamaar prompts the townspeople to petition the governor for a new sheriff.

After the new sheriff beats Lamaar’s elite mook Mongo with the help of professional gunslinger-turned-drunkard Jim (aka The Waco Kid), Lamaar is forced to take drastic measures, recruiting an army of thugs, qualifications including “rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperadoes, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, half-wits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists”. After the townspeople get wind of this, they give sheriff Bart twenty-four hours to come up with a plan to save the town.

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Review: Garry’s Mod

September 30, 2011

Garry’s Mod is one of those games that kind of difficult to explain. In this case, the difficulty comes from the open ended nature and complete lack of rules (apart from those governing physics). Would you like to defend a base from an attack by headcrab zombies or alien-human techno-hybrids? Or how about building your own house out of crates? Maybe you’d like to ride a rocket made of oil drums into the sky and come down without a scratch or launch explosive barrels out of a concrete sewer pipe? All of these and more can be done.

In fact, there are multiplayer servers where you can choose a class, earn in-game money, and even start your own shop. Or if you’re not into the whole capitalism thing, start up single player and just start dicking around. If you have more serious goals in mind, Garry’s Mod is an invaluable tool for those machinima and comic makers who work in the Half-Life universe.

Most of the fun comes from experimenting with the physics, with most experiments having the goal of shooting flaming barrels at wooden targets. There’s no real story to speak of except for that which you create yourself. On the other hand, I’ve misspent hours of my time in high school and college going in and playing with the physics. Plus, it’s only $10, and much more entertaining the the Deadliest Warrior game on Xbox Live.

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Review: Young Frankenstein

September 30, 2011

An affectionate parody of the classic horror genre, and especially the various 30’s adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein takes a look at one of the later descendants.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein is a lecturer at an unnamed American med school where he tries desperately (most of the time in vain) to dissociate himself from his infamous grandfather and his experiments with human reanimation, insisting that his surname be pronounced Fronk-en-steen. He learns from a lawyer that he has inherited his family estate in Transylvania, and the plot gets underway as he goes to Europe to inspect the property.

At the train station, he meets up with Igor (which turns into Eyegore after riffing on Frederick Froderick’s insistent terminology surname), a servant of the family who is there to take him to the castle, along with fellow servant and beautiful young lass Inga. And at the castle, they meet the housekeeper for the property, Frau Blücher, the setup to a running gag about horses rearing up in fright every time she’s mentioned.

After arriving, Frederick becomes increasingly intrigued by his grandfather’s experiments, and with Inga’s help, finds the secret passage to his laboratory (using the same set from the 1931 film) and his grandfather’s diary, How I Did It. After this, Frederick decides to own up to his heritage and resume his grandfather’s reanimation experiments. He and Igor (who has been shifting his hump from side-to-side the entire movie) go grave robbing to dig up a recently buried criminal. Frederick sends Igor to get the brain of a recently deceased scientist. Unfortunately, a bolt of lightning startles him into dropping the correct brain, so he grabs an abnormal brain instead.

Frederick brings his monster to life, where after a match is lit, the monster attacks and has to be sedated (“SedaGIVE?!”). Frederick and Igor then have a chat about what exactly went wrong:

Dr. Frankenstein[To Igor] Igor, may I speak to you for a moment?
Igor: Of course.
Dr. Frankenstein: Sit down, won’t you?
Igor: Thank you. [sits on the floor]
Dr. Frankenstein: No no, up here.
Igor: Thank you. [sits on a chair]
Dr. Frankenstein: Now… that brain that you gave me… was it Hans Delbruck’s?
Igor[Crosses arms] No.
Dr. Frankenstein[Holds up hand] Ah. Good. Uh… would you mind telling me… whose brain… I did put in?
Igor: And you won’t be angry?
Dr. Frankenstein: I will not be angry.
Igor[Shrugs] Abby…someone.
Dr. Frankenstein: Abby someone? Abby who?
Igor: Abby Normal.
Dr. Frankenstein[Slightly angry] Abby Normal?
Igor: I’m almost sure that was the name. [He and Dr. Frankenstein laugh]
Dr. Frankenstein: Are you saying… [Stands] that I put an abnormal brain… [Puts hand on Igor’s hump] into a 7 and a half foot long… 54- inch wide… [Grabs Igor by throat]GORILLA?!?!?! [Strangling Igor] IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME!?!

Long story short, the monster escapes, is captured by the police, trained by Dr. Frankenstein, presented at a theater (with an epic performance of “Puttin’ on the Ritz”), escapes again, is captured by the police again, escapes a third time, and exchanges his…uh..um…schwanzstück with the doctor for some of his intelligence.

This movie is hilarious, but as was the case with Spaceballs, a lot of the humor is made of sight gags, although there is significantly more wordplay. It also manages to capture the feel of the 1931 Frankenstein, mainly by using the same lab set. It’s one of the best of American comedy, check it out sometime. Maybe over the weekend?