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Snuff 102 (2007)
This isn't August; it's much more serious
All right. I felt the need to do a revised review as my last one was a little inaccurate. I just recently watched the film again and I think their were key concepts that I left out in my last review.
First, I'll start off the same way by saying that Snuff 102 is actually an intelligent film. It's not just mindless violence that leaves you with a feeling of sickness. The theme of the film is the impact violence has on the media and way it attracts even the most sane of people. The theme is mainly explored in the subtle parts of the movie where the reporter is doing an interview with the main villain himself. This person is an author of best selling books that deal with violence. The reporter interviews him to get his take on violence and why it is perceived in different ways. Eventually, she stumbles on his work in the form of pictures and he abducts her and has her bound and gagged in a abandoned building in the middle of nowhere. The place itself is a nightmare with blood stained walls. Two more woman are abducted and all three are to become victims 100, 102,and 102. Each woman will be tortured and murdered in front of a video camera; a tape marked for each woman with the victim number; hence the name snuff 102.
Now, obviously the reason why this movie is known at all is because of how violent it is. I will say this though; the reviews make this film to be 10 times worse than it is. The worst of the torture is merely implied and not truly shown. Ex; A woman get fingered with a butcher knife, but you don't actually see it. All you see is the knife go between her legs, no close up and it's from a side perspective. The sound effects however are brutal, but again you can just picture the sadist peeling an orange and you would get the same sound effect. One thing that I found interesting is that the worst for me was left out of reviews. There is one scene; spoilers, where the woman's water actually breaks and her unborn child is cut out of her. Pretty sick stuff though the latter is only shown after the torture you don't actually see it happen. Everything else has pretty much been done is horror movies; the thing that really sets it apart from those however is the overall mode. The coloring and the effects make it look like a nightmare. The actors were great in this; the woman made you truly feel sorry for them and the sadist defiantly conveyed a true feeling of evil. He is perhaps too good at what he does. I also really enjoyed the story and how it can relate to everyone mentally.
There are a few drawbacks. First, the film continuously changes perspectives which is needed as it's good to have a rest from the carnage. The bad thing is that the fillers are incredibly boring. Many of them deal with the women's back stories and how they ended up being abducted. Yeah, it good to show you character development, but the moments are very slow. That and snuff 102 actually did a cliché thing. The women that die in this film are shown to have sex and do drugs and the survivor is not shown doing neither. I hate that because it makes it seem like that's the reason these women died, not because they were used as tools to fulfill the fantasies of a mass murderer. The script is also not too good. The film had a great theme but the script meant to represent it was only good in certain areas. The main concepts that I really liked about the film is that the music was minimum but also put exactly where it needed to be. The acting was great and I thought the ending was very needed; you leave the movie feeling a little cheerful and clean in some perspective.
Overall, this film is not as brutal as it was built up to be, but defiantly was violent. It has a great theme to it and the acting is top notched. As I said earlier, the script defiantly could've been better and some moments are dragged on for too long and becomes boring. Good film in the long run though.
Shadow the Hedgehog (2005)
Great game, but very different from other Sonic games
All right, the title for this comment doesn't mean that's a bad thing. This is not like other Sonic games because it's a Shadow game. The game is made to personify Shadow's character; a confused hedgehog capable of great and terrible things. The game is much darker than others and has a much more involved storyline that finally ties up all the loose ends left in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes.
Story: The story is a bit out there, even for a Sonic game, but it's still a great one. The story opens up with Shadow trying to remember his past, the only thing he can remember is the gruesome murder of a girl named Maria. As he contemplates this, the sky is filled with blood-shot clouds as aliens known as the Black Arms literally storm down and start killing and destroying everyone and everything. Laser cannons begin to shoot out from the sky, causing mass destruction. The leader, Black-Doom, then approaches Shadow and tells him to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds and give them to him as part of a promise made long ago. From there, it's up to you to decide what to do; serve the aliens, help Sonic and Gun, help eggman, or simply collect the emeralds for yourself. Now, this is the basic concept, there is A LOT more going on in this game. The game has 10 different endings and you need to play through them all to understand what Shadow is all about. Once this is done, the final level is opened and this reveals everything from the alien's intentions, to Black-Doom's relation to Shadow, and even mysteries in Sonic Adventure 2 such as why would Gerald create the Eclipse Cannon before he went insane. The story ties everything up nicely and, surprisingly, there are no plot holes. The only complaint I have is that it is extremely difficult to know what event takes place when as there are so many paths to take (Over 300, no joke).
Gameplay: Now the gameplay can either suck or be great depending on which level you're on and which mission you're undertaking. There's really no in between rating for gameplay, it's either great or horrible. The main problem is that even when you have decided which side to serve, characters from opposite sides will randomly show up and tell you to help them even though you decided not to. That and the fact that everyone shoots at you, even the side your helping, making it very hard to make sure that you're serving the side you want to. Lastly, some missions are way too long; some take almost 30 minutes, especially for those who are new to the game. It's bad because the missions before hand are really short, so you're not expecting the next ones to be so long. Other than that, and I know that's a lot, the gameplay is usually very fun, fast, and action oriented. It can just be VERY frustrating at time, which is why I gave this game an 8.
Graphics; FMV are beautiful and are good enough to be mistaken as a fully animated Shadow movie. The action stages have good graphics, but nothing mind blowing. That's pretty much it.
Music&Voices: The music is great, especially the theme songs. Each one reflect Shadow perfectly. Some are sad while others are Gothic and some are cheerful. The action stages have very suitable music too and really makes the game that more enjoyable. In terms of voices, there should only be two to care about; Shadow and Black-Doom. I'm happy to say that, at least in my opinion, that both are fantastically done. Griffith does Shadow which concerned me. He's alright as Sonic in this game, acting is good but voice just doesn't fit, but his acting and voice for Shadow are simply top notch. You can tell he put A LOT of effort in this game. Black-Doom may be even better as this guy gets my vote for best villain since Ganondorf simply on voice. Almost every word from this guy is about the murder and torture of the humans. Great villain and the voice acting has to be heard to be fully appreciated. Other great acting goes to Mike Polluck as Eggman and Gerald Robotnick and the voice acting for the Gun Commander, Maria, and the President are also very well done. So, great game and it is something new and different.
Pure evil turns into anti-hero
First of all, as a movie in general I though was less than average. As a remake, it was *beep* horrible. People will always say, "Oh this is a different movie, not the original, don't compare." It's a remake, how could you not *beep* compare First, I always had a problem with a back-story, Michael was pure evil without one. Michael was so evil because he had no reason to kill, he just did. He was pure evil in human form, there was no rhyme or reason for what he did. Okay, a back-story doesn't have to be terrible, but it answers nothing.
People say that this answers the question that had lurked in everyone's mind since the first 10 minutes of the original "Why is Michael the way he is." No it doesn't, at least not under the circumstances presented in the original. In that one, Michael has a nice and clean home with two well kept and fitting looking parents and a sister that seemed horny, but not a slut. In this one, the father is mysteriously dead and a filthy white trash piece of *beep* who has no respect for women, especially two very attractive ones, takes his place. The house is a decrepit place, the mother is a stripper, and it seems to be a white trash haven. Anyone can give a reason for Michael's rage in this way, just throw everything that was presented to the table in the original and put unoriginal stuff on it. The back-story itself is unoriginal and stupid.
The first 5 minutes already answer the question to Michael's rage, it's not drawing us in. Imagine the back-story starts with two clean and nice parents who are loving and in a nice home. That would be better because the audience will be engrossed with all these questions; "Whoa, what the hell, his life seems pretty nice. I wonder what will happen to make him evil." That is original and gets the audience interested right away because Myer's life seems perfect, but then an event happens and so on. In the remake, it looks like someone watched a documentary on serial killers and threw it in the movie. It's not original or new; it's used and boring. I wanted something that really surprises the audience about Michael and answers the question on his rage under the same circumstances as in the original, but in an unsuspecting and surprising manner.
All right, now for my biggest complaint in character development; Loomis. I remember in the original Loomis was a take charge type of guy who showed no mercy when he tried to find Michael. He never hesitated or gave up a chance to kill Michael because he knew he was pure evil. Loomis in this one calls Michael his best friend and is sympathetic to him. Then the next scene he is calling him pure evil and the anti-Christ. WTF. If Loomis thinks Michael is pure evil, why does he try to negotiate with him, hesitates to shoot him, and is remorseful towards him. The original had Loomis never resting till he found his evil patient. This one, he wastes time talking about his book and other crap. Especially in this one, Loomis should be more eager than ever since Michael kills 5 people as opposed to 1 as a child. People will say this Loomis is so much more caring and polite. Lets think for a second.; Loomis has spent 15 years of his life trying to get through Michael. He soon realizes Michael is pure evil and tries to get him transferred; People think he's an idiot and what happens? Myers escapes and they blame the whole thing on him. Would you be *beep* polite after all that and now you have a murderer on the loose and only you know how he works? I sure hell as wouldn't. Loomis in the original was more realistic, knew what he was dealing with, and took every chance he had to kill Myers before he kills anyone else.
Now let's look at the slasher himself; Michael Myers. They took a true and pure evil villain who tortured and murdered his whole family and made him into a sympathetic anti-hero who only wants to be with his sister Laurie. Michael never tries to kill Laurie in this one, at least not in general circumstances. Instead, he tries to be with her. Michael used to be a villain who stabbed and tried to strangle his sister, but now he's just a loving, but murderous, brother. The only times where he appears to want to kill her are times when he's reacting in anger, not evil. Michael used to be the villain everyone was rooting for to be killed: I still love the scene where Loomis shoots the hell out of Michael in the original. This one, Michael is not evil at all, just some misguided fool. I can't watch this feeling sorry for the villain.
The movie itself is used and boring; the stuff used from the original is rushed and a cheap knockoff in this one. The murders are rushed and someone gets killed every 2 seconds. My favorite kill in the first one was when Michael strangled to girl with the phone line because it looked so painful when she was gasping for air. This one, he just grabs and her and 2 seconds later she's dead. The murders and stabbing sounds are fake looking and sounding and the gore is way too exaggerated. One person gets stabbed one and then there are oceans of blood.
This movie was not scary in any shape or form and it ruined the image of Myers. No longer is he pure evil, but a misguided and sympathetic fool who just wants love. By the end of the movie, I had to watch the original to chafe the bad taste in my stomach from this one.