Archive | January, 2012

Drive

31 Jan

drive
Drive | 2012 | Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Site | IMDB
his_4_half_star
Drive is the story of a stunt driver / getaway driver who accidentally becomes entangled with the mob because of a woman. I loved Drive from the second it began. It was beautifully shot and scored. The art direction was beautiful and Refn’s style lended perfectly to the overall noir feel. Ryan Gosling was perfect in the role of Driver, saying very little but feeling extremely strong and in charge the entire film. It would be obvious in saying the chase scenes were great but that is not why I enjoyed this film. The characters were amazing. From Albert Brooks to Carrie Mulligan you really felt each character had their own story. Although their interactions were brief and not much was said you were still able to believe the intensity of their relationships. The ferocious violence coupled with the angelic electronic score helped to create a truly unique atmosphere in Drive. If I had to sum this film into one word it would be intense. You are constantly on the edge of your seat being teased with beautifully shot scenes unfolding in slow motion.

hers_4_5_star_rating
Gosling plays a stunt car driver who on the side drives for petty crimes. He ends up falling for a woman (Carey Mulligan) and things begin to fall apart for him. The driving scenes and music in this movie were great. The cast was phenomenal and I was amazed by all the actors that were in this film. The Director, Isaac Refn (Bronson), does an amazing job with creating tension within his scenes and I was on the edge during most of this movie. I feel like the relationship between Driver (Gosling) and Irene (Mulligan) could have been explored a little more given everything he does to protect her. But I feel this was probably just what the director wanted. This is a definite must see.

Drive Trailer

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Bad Teacher

30 Jan

bad_teacher
Bad Teacher | 2011 | Director: Jake Kasdan | Site | IMDB
his_2_half_star_rating
Bad teacher is the story of Elizabeth Halsey, played by Cameron Diaz, who is an Junior High school teacher fresh from a cancelled engagement more or less just getting by in her life and work. She is only motivated by the idea a breast enlargement will solve all her problems. Thus she strings together a series of events to get to that goal. I must admit I did have rather low expectations for this movie and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of dark humor that ran through this film Continue reading

Batman Arkham City

29 Jan

Batman_Arkham_City
Batman Arkham City | Third Person, Action, Adventure
| 2011 | Site

his_5_star_rating
You WILL feel like Batman when you play Batman Arkham City. Whether it’s the fluid powerful combat, the gadgets, the detective skills or most memorably the flying. Arkham City is an open world game and when that world is Arkham City it is going to be exciting. The storyline is great for fans of the comics and the Batman universe. Basically, you begin as Bruce Wayne and are captured and thrown into Arkham city where once you become Batman you begin to see how certain inmates of Arkham are fighting for power and control of the city. You will encounter nearly all of the great villains in the Batman cannon. Without feeling like they all got thrown into this open area together. Some of the villains you may never encounter if you stick strictly to the main story. The amount of non-required content in this game is astounding. I can’t count the number of hours I spent collecting Riddler Trophies or tracking down corpses with their faces removed. The gameplay and fighting feels so much more fluid and powerful over Batman Arkham Asylum. The incorporation of gadgets into combat is just what the fighting needed to evolve it in the right direction without losing the core feeling from the first game. I loved the story in Arkham city however; simply soaring from rooftop to rooftop is what makes this game for me.

hers_4_5_star_rating
This game begins with you as Bruce Wayne. From there you get thrown into Arkham City where you have to fight all of the great enemies in the Batman world.  Most of my enjoyment from this game simply came from flying through the city as Batman.  Rocksteady made it so smooth to grapple and fly, which makes it so much fun just getting from mission to mission.  Not only are there several main super villains for you to fight, but also you can find so many side missions just flying through the city. You get to choose what gadgets you get and what you want to upgrade as you progress through the game. Thus making it tons of fun fighting the inmates of Arkham City.  I really enjoyed how you are able to use gadgets in your fight combos. I always try to get 20+ combos when fighting larger groups, which can get hard for me since I am horrible at blocking.  You also get to play as Catwoman, which I loved because she is a Badass.  I did find it hilarious how the camera always seemed to focus on Catwoman’s butt. There is so much for you to find just exploring the city. Awesome things like meeting up with Calendarman during actual holidays to hear about different murders. This game is amazing and even if you do not know a ton about the Batman world you can enjoy Batman Arkham City because of how great it is.Developer: Rocksteady Studios | Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC


Batman Arkham City Trailer

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

28 Jan

Skyrim_review
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim | RPG, First Person, Adventure
| 2011 | Site

his_five_star_rating
Skyrim is a fantasy, first and third person open world, RPG that allows and encourages you to do almost anything. The civil war plot and dragon resurrection storyline are very meticulous and fulfilling to complete. The overarching story is great but you will get lost in wondering around, leveling skills, talking to people and taking up side quests. Some of the most fun you can have with Skyrim is talking to someone else that has played it and comparing stories. It is amazing how different your story can be. My girlfriend and I started playing at the exact same minute and once gameplay started it took about 10 minutes before we started encountering different people, places and things to do. I can’t say enough good things about Bethesda; they have created a work of art. Skyrim is one of the best games in the past ten years and, in my opinion of all time. Currently I am a level 48 Dark Elf with a focus on magic, one handed combat, smithing and enchanting. (Side note: Another one of the highlights in Skyrim are the books. If you haven’t started playing yet, you are bound to pick up and read every books you encounter. Capaneus has done everyone a favor and compiled all the books of Skyrim into one digital bound volume located here – capane.us)

hers_5_star_rating
Skyrim is one of my favorite games. It was my #1 pick of 2011 and it is in my top 5 all time favorites. I am a big fan of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, also developed by Bethesda. I never played Oblivion, only having been gaming more intensely since moving to Chicago a couple years ago. I tried Skyrim knowing I would probably like it and ended up loving it. Everything about this game is amazing. It is so huge, over 300 hours of gameplay. You can create your character and level up in the areas you are interested in. At the moment I am a level 38 Wood Elf with a focus on magic and archery.

Developer: Bethesda Softworks | Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC


Skyrim Trailer

The Innkeepers

25 Jan

the_innkeepers
The Inn Keepers | 2012 | Director: Ti West | Site | IMDB
his_3_star_rating
The Inn Keepers is the story of the final weekend of the Yankee Pedlar Inn, where two employees are determined to discover if the hotel is haunted. I enjoyed this film but was left feeling a little let down. I enjoyed the director Ti West’s first film, House of the Devil, a great deal. Having built a lot anticipation for his next film I blame myself for being slightly disappointed. The two main characters in the film are great but that is where I felt my biggest disappointment. I wanted more from them. I wanted more of their story either backstory or interactions. There are some good scares and the film has great atmosphere. It’s a good old fashion scary story reminiscent of the Shining or Poltergeist. The director, Ti West, and the crew actually stayed at the Inn in the movie while filming House of the Devil where they experienced some unexplained phenomenon. I got the impression the film was slightly autobiographical which in turn made me like it more in hindsight. Definitely worth seeing, an all around good creepy film.

hers_3_stars
In the last weekend of the Yankee Pedlar Inn being open, two of the employees set out to prove it is haunted. This is the second film from the director of House of the Devil, Ti West. I feel like this movie could have been so much more. The acting just missed the mark and was very awkward. After learning how West came up with the idea to make the movie it made me enjoy it more and essentially give it a higher rating than I originally had. If you like Ghost hunting shows or just like haunted hotels definitely give this movie a watch. There is a twist at the end you may or may not see coming.


The Innkeepers Trailer

Bellflower

24 Jan

bellflower_film
Bellflower | 2011 | Director: Evan Glodell | Site | IMDB
his_4_5_star_rating
Bellflower is the story of two friends who spend their time building flamethrowers and weapons of mass destruction to prepare for the apocalypse until love and infidelity tears their world to pieces. The cinematography was gorgeous and each frame of the film could be a work of art. The director, Evan Glodell, wrote, starred in and built the camera for the film. Total cost for this film $17,000 – that’s right. For a first time director it is exciting to know there will be more from him in the future Continue reading

Top 5 Games of 2011

23 Jan

top_ten_games_2011
his
Uncharted_3_Drakes_Deception
#5 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception | Third Person, Action,
Adventure | 2011 | Site

What can you say? -It’s Uncharted. The characters and story are beautifully developed. You feel like you are getting to watch some old friends embark on an amazing journey. I loved the back-story which only helped to solidify your empathy for Drake and Sully. The controls are again spot-on. Naughty Dog is able to weave story and gameplay seamlessly together so well every developer should mirror it.Developer: Naughty Dog | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: Playstation 3
la_noire
#4 L.A. Noire | Third Person, Action, Adventure | 2011 | Site
I love Rockstar Games and L.A. Noire is no exception. They did not develop L.A. Noir, that was done by Australia’s Team Bondi but it still has that Rockstar shine. This game is about story. The gameplay is great but takes a backseat to the storyline. It is an open world 1940s L.A. where through detective Cole Phelps you help to bring down a criminal enterprise. I spent hours upon hours getting 100% completion on this game and it was worth it. It is hard to watch dialogue in any other game and not compare it to L.A. Noire. They have raised the bar for character interaction in a video game.Developer: Team Bondi | Publisher: Rockstar Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC

portal_2
#3 Portal 3 | First Person, Puzzle, Platformer | 2011 | Site
Story and gameplay are in perfect harmony in Portal 2. The voice acting and writing is perfection and hilarious. Not in the way game dialogue can be funny but in the way a great movie or novel can make you laugh. The puzzle solving will bend your mind while carrying you through to the next level feeling like a genius.

Developer: Valve | Publisher: Valve
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC, Mac

batman_arkham_city
#2 Batman: Arkham City | Third Person, Action, Adventure
| 2011 | Site

You WILL feel like Batman. Whether it’s the power, the gadgets, the detective skills or most importantly the flying. It’s an open world game and when that world is Arkham City it is going to be interesting. The story is great for fans of the comics. You will encounter nearly all of the great villains in the Batman cannon. The amount of non-required content in this game is astounding. I can’t count the number of hours I spent collecting Riddler Trophies. However, simply soaring from rooftop to rooftop is what makes this game for me.

Developer: Rocksteady Studios | Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC
skyrim
#1 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim | First Person, RPG, Action
| 2011 | Site

Of course, right? Skyrim is a fantasy, first and third person player open world game that allows you to do pretty much anything. The Dragon and civil war storyline are fantastic but you will be lost in wondering, leveling skills and talking to people.  Skyrim is one of the best games in the past ten years and perhaps all time.

Developer: Bethesda Softworks | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC


hers
rage
#5 Rage | First Person, Action, Shooter | 2011 | Site
I only played this with Larry in Coop but it was a ton of fun. Problem solving together is a great way to spend the night together.

Developer: id Software | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC

portal_2_hers
#4 Portal 3 | First Person, Puzzle, Platformer | 2011 | Site
I only played this with Larry in Coop but it was a ton of fun. Problem solving together is a great way to spend the night together.

Developer: Valve | Publisher: Valve
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC, Mac

Alice_Madness_Returns
#3 Alice Madness Returns | Third Person, Adventure | 2011 | Site
Great game!! you can seamlessly move through the city and the fighting is so fun.  I love to play stealth and this game helped me hone my skills.

Developer: Electronic Arts | Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC

batman_arkham_city_hers
#2 Batman: Arkham City | Third Person, Action, Adventure
| 2011 | Site

Great game!! you can seamlessly move through the city and the fighting is so fun.  I love to play stealth and this game helped me hone my skills.

Developer: Rocksteady Studios | Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC

skyrim_2
#1 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim | First Person, RPG, Action
| 2011 | Site

Amazing!!! I’m a wood elf arch Mage!

Developer: Bethesda Softworks | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

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