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The Super Shinobi (1989)
A great 16-bit sequel
I remember that "The Revenge of Shinobi" was one of my old favorites for the ancient Sega Mega Drive console(Sega Genesis in America). It has everything a great ninja-game needs. A great character, atmospheric locations, a lot of deadly enemies and superb music. Although technically superior to the original "Shinobi" of 1987, it still cannot match its older brother entirely in terms of fun. Sadly, they do not make games like this anymore, since I really miss these classic 2D sidescrolling action-titles, where Sega was one of the master-developers. I am looking forward to playing "Shinobi" for playstation 2, but I seriously doubt it to be as good as it ancestors. Play it, love it.
The pinnacle of the series
"Medal of Honor: Allied Assault" is in my opinion the pinnacle of the the series of "Medal of Honor". It also finally sees the series released on the ideal format; the PC. The PC is without a doubt the ideal format for FPS(first-person-shooter), since it gives you the best way of controlling your movement and aiming with a keyboard and a mouse. Graphically it is far superior to any of the previous versions, and also the current console-versions "MOH: Frontline" and "MOH: Rising Sun". Allied Assault really captures the feeling of fighting in World War II, and playing through it takes you to very different locations in North Africa, France and The Third Reich. One important note is that this is a very difficult game. It is a lot more difficult than any of the previous games in the series and the already mentioned console-versions Frontline and Rising Sun. Therefore it is safe to say that completing this game WILL require a lot of sweat, blood and tears. But when you finally complete this, you will by doubt think that it was worth the effort.
A brilliant sequel to one of my favorite games
COMMENT TO THE PC-VERSION:
"Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" is the sequel the brilliant "Max Payne", and is one of the best titles available. The gameplay remains largely the same, but more refined and the graphics have been vastly improved. The look of the main character Max Payne has also been changed, and he has been given a more mature look this time around. In the game you will play Max Payne for most of the time, but sometimes you will need to take control of a female character named Mona Sax. The brilliant bullet-time mode is also improved in this game, and Max Payne has a new set of stylish movements that he is only able to perform in bullet-time mode. These new moves have little to no effect on the gameplay, but they look extremely cool. In the game you will play through a film-noir story, told using the in-game graphics engine and the graphic novel like in the previous game, that I think is brilliant. Playing this game is like having the lead-role in one of John Woo`s movies, as you take on hundreds of mobsters using a great variety of weapons. Playing this game on PC using a keyboard + a mouse for moving and aiming works incredibly well. The only possibly drawback in this game is that you need a very powerful computer for the game to play like it was meant to be played. All in all, this is one of the finest action-titles available now, that all fans of "Max Payne" should welcome with open arms.
I recently saw the original "Highlander" starring Christopher Lambert. I thought that this movie was quite good. The story surrounding the immortals that fight eachother using swords appealed to me, and I am a fan of Sean Connery, who also has a role in this movie(just a small supporting role, really). I also found the movie to be quite impressive from a technical standpoint, especially considering its age. The "Highlander"-series have been the flagship-series, so to speak, for actor Christopher Lambert. Christopher Lambert`s performance was pretty weak in this movie. What I thought carried this movie was great storytelling, quite impressive special-effects, great sword-fights and great performances from supporting actors like Sean Connery. Considering all the bad movies that were made during the 1980`s, this is in my opinion one of the better movies to come out of that decade. Well worth seeing.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Better than its reputation
"The Matrix" was one of the best American movies of 1999, and this movie proves that it is not easy to follow up on a success as big as "The Matrix". "The Matrix Reloaded" is the inevitable sequel to the 1999-masterpiece, but is it as good as the original? No, a bigger budget and more gorgeous-looking action does not equal a better movie. You cannot deny that this as the first of two Matrix-sequels is one of the most ambitious movie-projects lately(apart from "Lord Of The Rings" of course). "The Matrix Reloaded" still suffers from Keanu Reeves poor acting, but this time also the lack of an adequate narrative. The plot turns out to be unnecessarily difficult to follow and many, many scenes should have been explained more(like who the Merovingian really was, and the previous "The One"). Much of the dialogue/monologue in this movie is in my opinion completely out of place and seems just like an excuse for the directors and writers to impress us with their knowledge of philosophy. One example of this is how the Merovingian suddenly delivers a long an quite unnecessary monologue about causality. I have studied philosophy, so I am familiar with the theories of causality, but this is not important for the telling of the story in this film. Another disappointment is the city of free men; the city of Zion. Zion as a city did not impress me, and it is a real problem for this movie that the directors did not convince me that it was worth fighting a (losing) war for this city. Despite of all these problems, this is good movie that is worth seeing. Why? Matrix-fans will absolutely want see this, simply because it is a Matrix-movie. Remember that it is an absolute must to have seen the first movie, in order to understand anything at all. It also remains an impressive scifi-action-movie with action-scenes to die for. It is also vastly superior to "The Matrix Revolutions" which I think was the biggest disappointment of 2003. All in all, this was not so bad, it was actually quite good.
Interesting, but too long
"Cowboy Bebop- the movie" is the only anime ever to be shown at my local cinema, and I knew I had to see it since I am a fan of anime. This movie is a fascinating scifi-action-comedy with Spike as the main character. I thought that this movie was good, although it`s biggest flaw was it`s length(over 2 hours). I cannot help but feel that the 2 hours+ running time is at least 30 minutes too much for a movie that has a rather simplistic plot. Apart from the length-issue, I felt that it was a very interesting movie with nice animation and plenty of stylish action. I guess that I would have enjoyed it more if I had seen the Cowboy Bebop-series.
Triumph des Willens (1935)
Pure National-Socialist propaganda from Leni Riefenstahl
The NSDAP(Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, National socialist German Worker`s Party or just the Nazis) had before the war annual party-rallys in the city of Nuremberg that lasted for one week. "Triumph des Willens" is meant to be a documentary of the party-rally in Nuremberg in 1934, directed by Leni Riefenstahl. This is probably one of the scariest movies ever filmed, arguably not the because of the movie in itself but because we know what followed later. The pictures found here give us the impression of Germany under the National Socialists; they point in a direction of the total destruction that followed during the Second World War. When seeing this movie, you cannot deny that Leni Riefenstahl is a very skilled director, and Hitler himself is of course the main character. Hitler delivers here many of his most infamous speeches, that are often used in general documentaries about either Nazi-Germany or World War II. This movie pictures that Nazis in the way they saw themselves. One example of this is the opening scene of this movie. It shows Hitler in his plane up in the sky, a scene, which deliberatly gives the impression of a God descending from the sky to meet his loyal followers on earth. Trully one of the most controversial movies ever, but one that you should see. The DVD also comes with an additional commentary-track by an American professor of history, who has many interesting comments to the movie although his pronunciation of German names and words are not very good at all. This is pure propaganda, but one that is worth seeing, at least only once.
Dead or Alive 3 (2001)
Arguably the finest fighting-game available for the current console-generation
"Dead or alive 3" is arguably the finest fighting-game available for the current console-generation(X-Box, Playstation 2 and Gamecube). This is a game that in my view is superior to competitors such as "Tekken 4", "Virtua Fighter 4" and even the mighty "Soul Calibur 2". Therefore, since I do not own an X-Box, I think it is a shame that it is only an X-box exclusive. The graphics here are the finest ever in a fighting-game, although pulling off moves using the x-box-controller can prove to be quite difficult for us who are used to playing on Playstation 2 or Gamecube. The gameplay is fluent, very realistic(mostly) and very intuitive.
If you want to criticize this game, it could be argued that it is in fact little more than a cosmetic improvement over "Dead or alive 2". Wonderful!
Just thinking about playing "Shinobi" for the ancient Sega Master System-console almost makes me cry. "Shinobi" is for me one of my finest gaming-experiences ever, about one of the coolest things ever: ninjas!! I have always enjoyed playing games with ninjas, and ninja movies(particularly ninja-animes like "Ninja Scroll") "Shinobi" has had many sequels since the original was released over 15 years ago, but none have been even close of intimidating the original`s gameplay, style, atmosphere and fun.
Bronenosets Potemkin (1925)
An important piece of cinema-history
"Battleship Potemkin" is a silent movie made in the Soviet-Union in 1925 by master-director Sergej Eisenstein. This powerful movie remains after almost 80 years a landmark in cinema-history. The movie tells the story of the crew on-board Battleship Potemkin during the revolution of 1905 after Russia had lost the war against Japan. On one side this is pure communist propaganda, on the other side this is probably one of the most powerful movies ever created. I saw this movie myself last year after my university teacher in Russian history recommended it to me. Powerful imagery is the main element that you will remember after seeing this movie, especially the scene where people are slaughtered at the steps of Odessa in the Ukraine. See it.