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This is not Kung Fu Panda. Or at least, not yet.
Note 1: Throughout this review, I'm gonna compare LOA with my favorite Disney cartoon series, Kim Possible, depending on whether I attack or defend the series. You'll understand why when I do.
Note 2: I'm not only reviewing the series,I'll also be reviewing the voice actors from both the series and the films. It's easier to do it here than to seek out each person's file here on IMDb.
In the beginning, this series was very good. It had a lot of the charm and feel from the film. But as the series went on, that completely disappeared. I didn't expect it to have the whole package, but when the amount it had been able to capture started to lack, the series went just downhill. It didn't suck, but it wasn't fun to watch anymore. The four major reasons for this is as following;
Po is not Po! In the films, Po is a very humble, clumsy and a bit dense guy who has a big heart and a lot of compassion for his friends and family. And, he's very hard-working! In the series, he's obnoxious, lazy, mean, and downright dumb. The only thing that was kept, was his humor. I don't know who to credit the most, the script writers or Mick Wingert, but Po deliver some of the funniest stuff I've heard in a long time.
The series was originally made after the first film, and takes place after the events of said film. But I struggle to see the whole connection. I also do not see how the events in the series is going to connect the events from the first film to the second. I know the series has only run for one season, and in KP, nothing major that affected the series as a whole happened until mid-season 3. Which was originally meant to be the final season. Maybe LOA needs time to mature, but considering the fact that the series is not keeping up its quality, I don't think it'll be given that time. There's a lot of things that has to happen first; Tigress must warm up a lot more to Po. Po has to improve on both his Kung Fu and his humbleness. Mr. Ping must be more patient with his son. Po must lose some pounds. (I know it wasn't a lot, but Po did actually lose some weight between the feature films.) And last, but not least; Po must drop the attitude!
I know LOA is a action-comedy based series for kids, and its current appeal is only that. I think this should be rethought. One of the reasons as to why I watched the films, was because they had a much wider appeal to more people. If the series had been more faithful to the films, I'm very sure it would have been a lot better.
Now, to the good parts; I really have to take my hat off to the voice actors in this series. Many of them do double duty on several episodes, and it is quite obvious that this is something they are familiar with. Mick Wingert has the ability to sound just like Jack Black when it comes to both audio, pitch and pronouncing. Kari Wahlgren chose to use her ordinary voice for Tigress, and I'm glad she did though she sounds nothing like Angelina Jolie. (In fact, I'd prefer Wahlgren before Jolie.) It makes Tigress come off as more natural. James Sie has done a lot of KFP-related voice work before, and I believe that comes in handy. Lucy Liu doesn't have that many appearances, but I think it's so cool that she decided to stay with the KFP franchise. As she is a much used voice actor by Disney, she must be very well versed in the game. Her work with Viper is still top notch. Fred Tatasciore is to me the voice of Hulk and the Beasts in MGS4, so it's actually cool to hear him do Shifu. But if I don't like that he tries to imitate Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman is excellent as Shifu, but I see no reason why Tatasciore needs to imitate him. A grouchy voice alone will do. I love the new bad guys. Kevin Richardson as Temutai is such a blast that I usually have to rewind the episode to hear what he said, because I probably lost it the first time around from laughing. (Temutai has never heard of 'indoor voice'.) There is a lot of people who complain about the animation being bad. I can agree that the animation is nowhere as good as the one in the films, but this is a mass-production. And to be honest, I'm surprised they turned out as good as they did. I'm impressed that they decided to do it in 3D at all, because it's a given that 3D animation is more demanding and loads harder than ordinary cartoon animation.
I give Legends of Awesomeness 5 stars because at this point, the series is nothing but a borefest unless you're a 4 year old boy. But it used to be good, and it has the potentiality to be good again.
This is utter CRAP!!!
There is no words strong enough to express my disappointment after seeing the sixth Harry Potter movie! I thought Order of the Phoenix was tragic, but as hard it might be to believe, Half-Blood Prince is worse!
I'll just get right into the bad stuff: First and foremost; where was Scrimgeour? Where was Dobby and Kreature? Where were the Dursleys? Where was Fleur and Bill? And of course, where were all the scenes and details belonging to those characters? Not only were people, with their respectable scenes, left out, they left out scenes and details with people that were there too. Harry doesn't go and sit with Neville and Luna on the Hogwarts Express, he goes directly to the Slytherins. Tonks doesn't fetch Harry from the train, Luna does. There is no DADA class. There is no 'Weasley is our King' song, or any reference to Roonil Waslib' either. And the students hardy ever wear robes! Last time I checked, Hogwarts has a uniform code! That means that you must wear school robes! Dumbledore doesn't show Harry even half as many memories as he did in the book. Also, Dumbledore is not as much present in the film as he was in the book. It's like what was considered as the main storyline in the book has been just added in as a sideline story in the film. I'll even go one better than that; those who knows the book well enough will clearly notice that whole chapters have been take out the film to make room for other things. Steve Kloves and David Yates have completely gutted the book and put in their on crap! Thanks, guys, thanks for ruining Harry Potter for me. Can't wait to see how much you're gonna screw up the Deathly Hallows. In my opinion, the whole movie gives out a presence of low-budget, too-close-to-deadline, and lack of interest and efforts. The only people who does a good job in this film is a few chosen actors, which is Tom Felton, Rupert Grint and Jessie Cave. Tom Fenton gives a very strong and deep performance in this film, and has finally been given the chance to show that he can actually act. In this film, Draco is this eerie, dark figure that looms around in the dark corners and is constantly hurting. If I hadn't known better, I'd say this is a film about Draco, not Harry. Grint has always been one of the best British comedians of modern time I have seen, and now he has proved it yet again. He must've faced a much more physical challenge in HBP than in any other HP movie he's done before, but then again, the older he gets, the more is expected of him. Fortunately, he is more than up for the job. Jessie Cave was, in my case, the wild card. Never seen her before, but she so definitely filled the role as the love-sick Lavender Brown to a tee. Over-acted a bit maybe, but that's OK considering Lavender is quite the drama queen in the book as well. I have always loved the Phelps twins, but this time around they hardly got any screen time at all. (The only comfort I have as a Norwegian, is the James and Oliver came to Norway to party in Oslo on the eve of the midnight pre-premiere of the film.) I have never had too much interest in Daniel Radcliffe after Goblet of Fire, but he's never been a bad actor. However, a few moments of comedy is not going to same him this time. He just did his job, and that was it. This resulted in Harry not making very much of himself. This is a Harry Potter film, and thus should Harry Potter be more present on the scene. Luckily, the Harry Potter character was well supported by the Ginny Weasley character, which means that Bonnie Wright was given a great deal more screen time than before. In all the chaos of tossing the characters about, leaving out essential scenes, people, quotes and other details,they inputed two major scenes that is not in the book, but it would be a bit unfair to say that they are bad, because they're not. Everybody probably knows from the trailer that The Burrows gets attacked by the Death Eaters. This scene is spectacular, a true countryside house inferno. But unnecessary since it didn't happen in the book. This also means, they put in the attack/house fire to replace the Christmas holiday when Scrimgeour visits. The other scene is Harry and Ginny in the Room of Requirement. Harry does hide the Half-Blood Prince's Potions Book in the Room, but not at the time that is stated in the book. In this new scene, he goes up there with Ginny, so that she can hide the book for him. Something else happens in the Room that did happen in the book, but at another time. So, in other words, they took two details out of two different scenes to create this one. It's a good scene, but I've got to say that I'd rather have the original scenes. But two great scenes, three great actors and a massive hype cannot save this film. It is by far the worst Harry Potter film yet. They left out too much. You want Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? Read the book.
PS! Don't get me wrong, because Mark Williams is a good actor, but I want to state a fact here; Arthur Weasley is practically BALD! Why does Williams suddenly have LONG HAIR for the role?
The Wrestler (2008)
Really great stuff! A must-see for all wrestlers, trainees and fans alike.
Let's just one thing straight; I'm not writing this because of Mickey Rourke. I'm not judgmental, but if I can't say anything bad about him, I'm also going to refrain from saying anything nice about him. If you read this in hopes for appraisal or criticism on Rourke, you're reading the wrong comment.
The Wrestler is, I believe, the closest thing you can get to a fictitious documentary from this environment. Sure, I do admit that not every old wrestling legend from the 80's is living in a trailer park, work as loading boys at the local K-Mart and limps into high school gyms to work 20 dollar matches every Saturday night, but you got to let some of the Hollywood magic have some running ground too. Some of the high points in the movie has been exaggerated, making the story sometimes a bit too far off, but then again, at some point, one or several former wrestlers have most likely experienced one or several of these things to a more or lesser degree, so by exaggerating them, the audience gets to see just how far out these things can be or go. These things could very well happen, I just find it a bit hard to believe that they would all happen to the same guy. I'm a huge wrestling fan, and I got very surprised when I got to see how many wrestlers, well-known wrestlers that is, were in the movie. There was Ron Killings, Austin Aries, Necro Butcher and Ernest "The Cat" Miller just to name a few. And they used real, official brand logos from the real wrestling promotions CZW WXW and ROH. It was great to see how deep into the wrestling society the film makers have gone to make this movie authentic and realistic. You get hints of how locker room discussions go, what preparations are put into a wrestling promotion or let alone a show, and how these wrestlers improvise and think creatively to make their acts look better. One of my favorite scenes was when Randy and another wrestler goes to a hardware store to find things they can use as weapons in a upcoming hardcore match.
To a certain respect, one could say that this is almost the life story of former WWF (WWE) star Jake Roberts, but I have not personally been able to clarify that. But for those who are familiar with Jake The Snake and his life and career will find a lot of similarities.
Now, since I have personally never been in a wrestlers' locker room, I can't verify just how authentic this movie is, but since it appears as raw and right-in-your-face as it does, I can't see any reason to say that this is as close as you will get to a study into a wrestling legend's life after his downfall and demise and re-rise to status as icon. That said, remember that this is after all a film, and not a real life documentary.
The Wrestler is no what I wanted, but just the way I expected it to be: it's dirty, grimy, raw and brutal. It's not date movie, it's wrestling. Oh! and for "CERTAIN" people in the WWE who shall remain nameless, I would encourage you to watch this movie and re-find the REAL purpose and the REAL meaning of wrestling!
Funniest thing I saw in the movie: Randy has a NES, Nintendo 8-bit, game console. He plays a game called WrestleJam III (where he's featured himself) with a kid who tells him about this new game that just came out called "Call of Duty 4". That scene just cracked me up. Worth a watch. Actually, worth several watches!
A worthy closure, but yes, a closure.
Let me start with the worst first; YES, I HATE THE FACT THAT HIDEO KOJIMA THIS TIME MEANT IT WENT HE SAID THAT HE'S DONE WITH MGS! YES, I HATE THAT SNAKE IS NOT GOING TO BE THE MAIN CHARACTER IN FUTURE MGS GAMES! YES, I HATE THAT MOST OF THE CHARACTERS I LEARNED TO KNOW AND LOVE (Naomi, Vamp, Ocelot) DIED! AND YES, I HATED THAT GREY LITTLE MONKEY-THING THAT DREBIN ALWAYS DRAGGED AROUND WITH HIM!!! Now some more lighter things, but still negative; There was no Demo Theatre, which is really sad considering that the FMVs in MGS4 is absolutely astonishing. If there is any plans of doing a follow-up (like Substance for MGS2 and Subsistence for MGS3), I hope they will include at least that. Furthermore, I didn't care much for the over-linear storyline. From previous MG-games, I've been spoiled to have the freedom to (sometimes) travel all the way back to the start point, and recover items, equipments and weapons I didn't acquire from the start. In MGS4, the story takes place in different places (Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe, Alaska, Pacific Ocean), which makes it very hard to re-trail your own movements to improve your performance. It also give me the feeling that the game is really pushing you forward to complete the story and be done with it, which is also a bit of a bother since the story isn't really that long. Experienced gamers would complete it in just 3-6 hours. Now, finally, the good stuff; There is finally a real explanation to who/what the Patriots are/were! And the revealing of this is so spectacular, so intriguing, such a work of genius that I was really amazed! And the fact that graphic, sound, music and game play, with all its new resources in control and layout, is by no means any disturbance or annoyance. My most blissful moment in the game was when I realized that you could buy and customize weapons, and that just about every weapon in the game are actually real ones. They exist in real life! How cool is THAT? I quite enjoyed the return of several characters such as Naomi, Meryl, Vamp and Raiden (I know I have said in the past that I hate Raiden, but that was because he stole Snake's place in MGS2. Raiden as the NexGen Cy-Ninja is truly an amazing sight and it fits him) because MGS3: Snake Eater and MGS:Portable Ops (Plus), no matter how great they were, took our minds away from the event from our own day and age (well, sort of. Usually the MG/MGS-games was set about 5-10 years into the future from their original release dates). After MGS2, there was a sort of void whereas the progress of the story halted to a complete stop for the fans. But I call this a masterpiece of deception. While the fans are all hung up on how a CIA-agent named Naked Snake became Big Boss, the world's greatest soldier of modern times, along the way creating the prologue of what would become the Patriots, things happened. Snake's body started to break down, Raiden went MIA, EVA hid in Europe, Ocelot at an unidentified location, Rose gave birth to her and Raiden's son, Meryl advanced in the military ranks and found out about her real relation to Roy Campbell, Snake and Otacon took Olga's daughter, which they named Sunny, into their care after Raiden had saved her from some group believed to be the Patriots, Naomi was broken out of military arrest by Ocelot, Liquid finally possessed Ocelot completely, and Snake grew a 'stache. And just like before, Harry Gregson-Williams put his heart and soul into his work when he once again delivered a musical soundtrack that took a good, hard grip of the player's emotion and shook it. Long. And hard. As a prolonged MGS-player, I took great enjoyment in the Shadow Moses level as it was filled with all sorts of nostalgic moments. And personally, I have always wondered what happened to that place after the place was evacuated and shut down in the early 2000s. It was suppose to have been abandoned, right? Well, we were wrong, weren't we!? When I as Snake set foot on that Helipad, and heard the nostalgic voice memories of Snake saying "A Hind D? Coronel, what's a Russian gunship doing here?", I took an overview of the place. It was crumbled down due to 9 years of harsh weather and no maintenance, and as usual, the weather was not welcoming. Truly a sad sight. But still, I was happy. I was home again. Oh yes, I was indeed at home. I also want to mention that due to the lack of a Demo Theatre and the really hurtful realization that Snake indeed will not come back, I would say that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is so definitely the closure we have been waiting for all these years. And the game hints towards future releases. I could not be more satisfied. I take my hat off to Kojima-san, David (Snake AND MR. Hayter), and the Shalashaska for their long and hard work and sacrifices they have made along the way to this point. Stand proud, men. A world of fans salute you.
* (I wrote this review in US Enlish because I'm so sick and tired of the correction program telling me that I misspell words when I type 's' instead of 'z'. Don't blame me for this disrespectful spelling, blame America and the staff at IMDb.com.)
How could the do this to us?
Undertaker is my absolute favorite in WWE, bar none. He has outmatched Hogan, Rock, Austin and Cena in popularity, hands down. He is the WWE's best commodity, no contest.
Now, the WWE go out and make this tribute film about him (This is not a biographical documentary, it's a Best Matches Of), and they mess it up! I felt a bit guilty when I slaugthered my all-time favorite movie Gladiator, but this time I know I can rant, criticize and butcher as I damn please. Because this is not Undrtaker's fault, it's WWE's.
Tombstone is a three disc feature, so I'm going to start from the beginning, with disc 1: First full match is the WWF Title match at Survivor Series 1991 versus Hulk Hogan. Sure, I agree that this match should be included, but it took place A FULL YEAR AFTER his actual debut. He debuted at Survivor Series in 1990! Then, there's TWO matches with Mankind. I know that Mankind and 'Taker had a really long feud going, but two matches? And if any, why not the Boiler Room Brawl? Maybe not a good match, but famous. The extras include one more match, and the only reason I let ANOTHER double-feature (two matches, same opponent) slide, is the fact that the opponent is Bret Hart. On disc 2, things gets worse: ANOTHER double feature!! Two matches with Shawn Michaels! I do admit that one of them is the first ever Hell In A Cell, and that match is important (not to forget that Michaels is a great performer), but they should have let it be with that. Then there's ANOTHER double-feature!! Or maybe I should say a Triple, since Kane was also in the Hell In A Cell? Either way, we're given their Wrestlemania XIV match, and their following Inferno match at Unforgiven. Both matches is very good (actually, I would say the Inferno match is really great), but just one would do. I'd go for the Inferno match. Then, ANOTHER Mankind match!?? This is the very famous Hell In A Cell match at King of The Ring 1998 (which I have marked as my all-time favorite among any, a-n-y, WWE match), but this only proves my earlier statement that there wasn't any need for two Mankind matches on disc 1. The last match on disc 2 is the last match I would ever want to see again as long as I live: His WWF Title match versus The Rock at King of The Ring 1999. Pointless. The match is only so-so, and doesn't add anything. I don't bother with the extras on disc 2. Disc 3 is by far my favorite, but not flawless: The first match could maybe be kinda exclusive since it's from Fully Loaded 1999. In respects to the Hart family, WWE has yet not released this show on VHS or DVD as it is the very same show where Owen Hart died. I think that this is one of those very few things WWE has done right, but then again, that means that they shouldn't include this match on this feature either. Especially since this is one of those matches that took place AFTER the accident. Next match is the absolute best match of all three discs: Wrestlemania X-7. Houston, Texas (Mark Calaway's hometown). The opponent is Triple H. And what a hell of a match it is! This is also one of those matches he wins. The only down side about this match, is that WWE doesn't have the copyright to Limp Bizkit's "Rolin'" anymore (which was Undertaker's theme at the time), and edited in some other music instead. But I can look past that. Next match is Judgement Day 2002. Versus Hogan. Which makes it ANOTHER double-feature... Then there's the Hell In A Cell match versus Brock Lesnar. Now this is a really good match, with a lot of blood and guts and smash-mouth wrestling. Unfortunately, 'Taker loses. Too bad, because if he hadn't, this match would share the victory of best match on the feature with the WM X-7 match. Next; Vengeance 2003, versus John Cena. Fairly decent match, nothing more. Could have been taken out to make place for a better one. Then, there's the Buried Alive match with Vince McMahon at Survivor Series in 2003. This is a squash match! Undertaker totally destroys Vince, only to be screwed over at the end by... Kane! (What is it now, a quadric-feature?!?) Then, the last match of the disc; Kane at Wrestlemania XX. Decent match, and I'm not going to say that this match have no place here, but three matches and two interferences with Kane? Wasn't this suppose to be a tribute feature to Undertaker? The extras include some good interview pieces and promos, and a very good Smackdown match versus Kurt Angle. I like disc 3's extras.
Now, I've said which matches could be dropped from Tombstone; here's some matches I thought should have been there instead: 1. WWF Rampage 1991, versus The Ultimate Warrior. Not the best match, but one Warrior match couldn't hurt, could it? 2. Armageddon 2000, Six Man Hell In A Cell WWF Title match. It included all the great ones at the time, and really made impact. 'Taker threw Rikishi from the roof, remember? 3. Vengeance 2001, Hardcore Championship match versus Rob Van Dam. Nothing is better than seeing 'Taker go berserk. 4. WWE Title Ladder Match against Jeff Hardy on RAW in 2002. Not only did this match make it to nomination as RAW's Greatest Match, it's also (as far as I know) Undertaker's first and only Ladder Match ever. And then I haven't told how great it was yet.
In all, a great disappointment to me, and probably a lot of other Creatures of the Night. We were not given what was promised us.
And the adventure finally came out of the book and onto the screen!
I consider this a great film, and its sequels better. But, as most of you who read my comments know; I live, breathe, to criticize. And though it pains me, Fellowship of the Ring is full of things to criticize.
I have earlier had little faith in Cate Blanchett as actress material for big, heavy roles. I saw her play Queen Elisabeth, and I wasn't impressed at all. So, when I heard she had been cast to play Galadriel, I thought; 'Oh no, this is gonna suck...' I'm so relieved to say that she proved me wrong. She impressed me, and I was happy. But I'm sorry to say that Marton Czokas (which I knew from Xena: Warrior Princess as Borias) wasn't the best choice. He did a great job, but unfortunately, he doesn't have that charismatic presence that I expect from an elf. I could maybe say the same about Hugo Wearing, playing Elrond, but Hugo has this really great facial mimics that I just can't help but love. I have mostly seen Viggo Mortensen in roles in movies that I don't like too much (both before and after LotR), but his Aragorn was brilliant. Or rather, Peter Jackson made a brilliant decision in casting Mortensen. (I can't really put my finger on which Aragorn moment was my favorite because I never really saw a bad Aragorn moment.) Elija Wood as Frodo was absolutely a great performance, and so was Ian McKellen's Gandalf (adding humor to the character was really good, I liked that). But no one, and I mean NO ONE, came close to Sean Astin. When I read the book, I came to a conclusion: Samwise was the most annoying, whiny, cowardly guy I've ever read about. And Astin portrayed him just like that! Of all the characters in the book, Samwise was undoubtedly the one who was best transfered to the screen. Big hands to Sean Astin for this.
Now, the orcs... I don't really know what to say here. The orcs have their own language, so I was a bit disappointed that no one single word of their language was spoken. Wait, that's not true. One person speaks it; Gandalf. But GANDALF ISN'T AN ORC! The orcs are always portrayed physically in different ways, so I have no right to say that these creatures did not look like orcs. But Alan Lee, one of the most famous Tolkien artist was hired in to make conceptional sketches of everything, including the orcs, and as I know his artwork, I just have to ask; why didn't all the orcs resemble his art? The Uruk-Hai didn't look like those he has drawn/painted in the past.
Now, to my absolute favorite character: The Balrog! I - Love - The Balrog! I've always tried to picture how the balrog would look like, and most of the time I haven't gotten a grasp of it. Then I've looked at some of the pictures and paintings that has been made of it, and I have thought; 'Hey, that looks really cool!' But then, it is due for a film adaption. How would that work out? Well, personally, I was obviously impressed! This is how I realized that. When I was at the premiere, and the balrog had fallen, my side man said: 'You must close your mouth and swallow too, man.' I had just taken a drink of my coke, and now I was sitting there with my mouth open and coke was pouring down from my mouth and onto my shirt. People, I never get that impressed by films, no matter what! The balrog is the first, and so far the only, creature on film who has made me stare in awe.
And here it is! My favorite movie of all time!
Yes, finally I get the time to comment my undisputed favorite! Gladiator is my favorite movie because it gave me the opportunity to a bit of a 'teaser' of what I could expect in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But since Hollywood altered and messed up LotR, Gladiator remains my all time favorite. However!!! My favorite thing to do (as you all know), is to rap down on my favorites. This time, Gladiator must pay. Hehe >:)
Gladiator did one very serious mistake; it mixed fiction and reality. That's a mistake that a. o. Xena: Warrior Princess made several times. (There, they portrayed the Troyan war to occur sometime during Julius Ceasar's reign as war Marshall. These two event, both actual events from history, occurred with a void of 400 years between.) They started of the film with the Romans going to war in Germanica. And winning. This is wrong. The Roman Empire never seized Germanica, and never won any battles there. (Except for Italy beating Germany in soccer a couple of times.) They continue with Commodus, son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, kills his father to become the new Emperor. This I cannot verify as a true event or not, but it seems far-fetched. I don't buy. However, it does make a good drama scene. And they end the movie with Emperor Commodus being killed by his former general, Maximus, now turned gladiator, in the Colosseum. Now, it is true that Commodus did fight gladiators in the Colosseum, and it is likely that that's how he died, I do not know this for sure myself. But, the film's main character, Maximus, is merely a character of fiction, so if Commodus was killed in the Colosseum, it was not by him. Except for this, the film is the absolute best in its genre, and yes, I still consider it a lot better than the LotR trilogy. Here's my five reasons why. 1. Gladiator had to start from scratch. No one had heard of it before its first press release and premiere. LotR has been common knowledge for more than 40 years. 2. LotR was written by one of the worlds's greatest and most intelligent authors of all time. How are you suppose to best that? I'm not saying that the Gladiator script was better than the LotR books, but at least it was an honest piece of work. 3. Like millions of other LotR fans, my expectations for the trilogy was sky high. And from a book reader's point of view, I was more or less disappointed when I saw the result. This was not Tolkien, this was Hollywood. Gladiator was more Hollywood than LotR, but we didn't expect it to be anything else either. 4. When Gladiator was, and remains to this day, completely free! Unlike, LotR, it's not tied down by copyrights and spinoffs and merchandicing and whatnot. You might find a couple of t-shirts or something out there, but they would most likely only be promotional or something. The LotR concept have released billions of merchandice, and they are dependant on these things being sold, and they expect a certain amount of profit. What was once a wonderful piece of authory art and the most loved and respected piece of fantasy literature of all time has become a money machine. Shame! Gladiator is of course making a lot of money still, but no everybody expected that to happen. And at last 5. Gladiator clearly thought of real talent and realistic appearance before popularity and sex appeal. Compare Russell Crowe's MAximus and Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn anyday, and I am very sure you will have to admit that Russel's MAximus will come out victorious. Russell looks like a regular, everyday worker. A bit grimy and rustic, and hard knocked. Maximus looked like he hadn't seen water ever most of the film and it fit him well. Ergo, Russell fits the bill when a character needs to be down and dirty. Viggo Mortensen, who is a very good looking fellow to begin with, was made to look good as Aragorn, even when Aragorn was dirtied up or injured. He was always stylish, even in the Ranger rags he wore. Now don't get me wrong, the LotR trilogy is so definitely worth a watch, but I don't think you should watch with any expectations whatsoever, and certainly not with the books in mind.
So, my recommendations are as follows; watch Gladiator if you don't have the time to watch any of the Lord of the Rings films. I can guarantee that you will be just as entertained, if not more.
One more note; this movie was also Oliver Reed's last film as he died during the shooting of the film in Malta due to heart failure. He was 61. The film is dedicated in his memory.
Metal Gear Solid (1998)
Who knew what greatness this game would give birth to?
Some of you who have followed my comments here on IMDb.com might say now; -Well, it's about time!!! Here I commented Snake Eater, and butchered Sons of Liberty, but totally ignored/forgot about their predecessor; Metal Gear Solid (to Nintendo fans aka The Twin Snakes)! Shame on me! It's almost as I no longer deserve the title Gear Head!
I actually started playing the original game a few months ago. At first, I didn't really understand why because PlayStation 2 has spoiled me visually for nearly 5 years now, and starting to play a PlayStation game again now made me think; "Geez, these graphics are crap..." I must remind you all that I don't always care that much about graphics as long as the story is thriving and the gameplay is good. MGS succeed on these two points more than most PSX games out there. (Before anyone starts rapping at me for 'dissing' the graphics, let us all remember that MGS at the start of its prime was considered having THE best graphics EVER on a PSX action adventure.) I still can't claim that I have completed the game (or any of its sequels for that matter). Playing through the game and see the credits is not the same as completely finishing the game. Especially since MGS rewards you for completing the game several times. Play through it once, and you get either the good or the bad ending, and the representative bonus item to use the next time you play. Complete it again, and you will get the other ending than last time, and the other bonus item. (If you know how to determine which ending you will get, that is.) And after you've got both endings, you'll have alternative outfits in the game on your third game. I'm not going to say that MGS was the first to do this, but it was with MGS that I saw this in a action adventure game myself. And yes, I was majory surprised, and impressed. Already back then did I understand that this game was absolutely going to have a sequel. This was just the first step on the ladder of superb success!
Now there might be some of you who says; what's this?! This guy usually slaughter games and films, and now he starts out with appraisal? OK, fine, I do have some criticism. And good ones too: MGS was first announced to be a PlayStation-Only title. This was a lie. About a year later, the game was adapted directly to PC. In a way, that was good. Now people with PCs, but no PSX could enjoy this spectacular game. The problem, however, was the fact that the transition from PSX to PC hadn't been the best. Lots of technical problems and game control was a mess, unless you had a PC gamepad. Luckily for me, I had one. A Logitec Dual Assault Pad that resembled the PSX pad. Later, the game was actually re-made, from scratch, for Nintendo Gamecube, with all new graphics and extras. I could fully understand. In my youth, I had a Nintendo 8-bit video game system. And yes, I had the original Metal Gear. I loved that game! Therefore, I was not surprised at all to learn that not only was the Metal Gear series going back to its roots, but in new format. But I learned three details that disappointed me greatly; 1. The exact same voice cast was hired in to do VO, but at some points, the script had been changed. Who made that decision?... 2. The same VO, but only re-recorded. I'd say that they should've gone for the original from the PSX version (like they did on the PC version), because, and don't ask me how they actually managed to do this, the voice cast, on several occasions SCREWED UP their lines! They actually messed up! Cam Clarke did a WAY better job on the PSX/PC version. Most of his lines was truly heartfelt and touching. The rest was very good as well. On the Gamecube, his VO was flat. And when he was going for Liquid's aggressive and psychotic demeanor, it came out bad. No feeling, no convincement, no life. And finally, 3. This game would've made a ten times better PC transition than the PSX version. First and foremost because of the incredibly improved graphics. But NO! Konami had exclusively sold the rights of The Twin Snakes to Nintendo and Crystal Knights. So, the deal with Nintendo is more sacred than the one with Sony? Thanks a f#@Xing lot, Koj! This is absolutely the first case of video game development racism I've ever encountered.
But there's is so much good here still. Just remember this; MGS was the milestone of an entire game generation, and is still considered the Best PSX Game of All Time. It has inspired to several game genres and have been copied/parodied/competed/rivaled by many other game developers. I mention Splinter Cell, Syphon Filter, M:I, Chase The Express, Extremination, Grand Theft Auto III/Vice City/San Andreas, LOTR: Two Towers, LOTR: Return of the King and King Kong as just a few. No doubt, Metal Gear Solid was a revolutionary, an innovator and an inspirer in its grand days, and continues to be so even now, eight years after its first release on the PSX.
In memory of the greatest Guerrero yet.
It's probably not much of a surprise that I now review this biographic documentary of Eddie Guerrero. I admit that I wasn't exactly a head over heels die hard fan of the guy, but I never saw a bad Guerrero match, ever. This is my way of saying "Thanks, Eddie. And bless you."
I knew that the Guerrero family has had long traditions in wrestling, both in Mexico and the US. I was caught a bit off guard when I got to know that even Mando Guerrero had been wrestling. One of the bonus matches is actually Gory's three oldest sons (Chavo, Mando and Hector) taking on RPM and Cactus Jack in a six man tag match at AWA Superclash III. (A bit strange that a match that doesn't include Eddie is on Eddie's movie though. But no complaints, because the match was entertaining.) All of Eddie's brothers praised him as the superior wrestler and really showed him the best of respects. The part that dealt with Eddie's addiction was quite sad and disturbing, but in a good way. I must agree to the fact that when you talk about something as serious and terrible as drugs, it's not going to be a pleasant moment. The dirt must be dug up so the people can learn from it. Eddie is actually one of the best examples, both on the good and bad. (Note: If you think about it, the youth today and their drinking and drug habits are about the same as old rockers has had over the years. People remember Rolling Stones, Doors, Beatles and Jimi Hendrix for their drug use as well as their music. These people took loads of drugs and booze, but obviously, the younger generations haven't learned. Sad really...) Eddie took a big load of drugs, but miraculously, he prevailed. Thet takes guts, hard training and a iron will stronger than any to do. I tip my hat, nay, take it off, for Eddie. Eddie was a all-round kidder, no doubt. He had a laid-back style and lots of humour and self irony. This gave birth to the Latino Heat, Los Guerreros, the Raza and the Lyin', Cheatin' an' Stealin'. Being this good-guy with criminal habits worked out well for both him and Chavito. I'm glad to see that Eddie came in on a track where he felt secure. The documentary itself doesn't cover his WWE Championship and the story lines it took on, but let me just say it like this; I'm glad Eddie was stripped of the WWE title as quickly as he was. He might've put the worst of his demons behind him, but the pressure of being the WWE Champ would most likely re-ignite some of them. Eddie was strong, but not that strong. Or rather, WWE decided to not finding out. They played it safe, and I really am glad for that. And I'm pretty sure Eddie was as well.
Now, you may ask that if I thought this documentary was so great, why not the top score? First, I thought it was too short. The actual documentary is barely 70 minutes long, and the extra material on the first disc is a bit messy. It doesn't really make too much sense time line-wise. On disc two, there's ONLY extras. This is good, but it's still messy, according to the time line these things has occurred. And there are more matches that I think should've had alternate commentary. There's alt. commentary with Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam, but there's matches with Chris Jericho and Chavo Guerrero that I'd love to hear alt. commentary on. Well, c'est la vie. I recommend (and note this; I NEVER, NEVER, recommend films) all Eddie fans to get this. This is his testament. This is his legacy.
(Final note: What really irks me, is that Eddie will be just like JYD; inducted in the Hall of Fame after his death. I was so hoping to see him stand there on the podium, a elderly, graying gentleman with a wave of cheers rushing over him. Now it's not to happen.)
Another of the world's best games hit the silver screen. And for once, it's the RIGHT game!
Look, I had no problems with the fact that Square Enix wanted to make movie about Final Fantasy. And I had no problems with the fact that the story would be a whole new and completely different one from those we had seen in the games. (After all, with the exception of FFX and FFX-2, all the games had all different stories.) But why did they make it a true-to-life feature!? In the world of Final Fantasy, one should never encounter phrases like 'New York' and 'U.S. Government', and names 'Dr. Ross'. I do love Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within, but that is based on one thing and that thing only; the computer imagery.
Now, Square Enix has gone out and done what we have all been waiting for the last 7-8 years: A computer animated movie based on Final Fantasy VII, the greatest Final Fantasy game to ever be made. I'm very glad. Oh yes, so glad indeed. Now, here's my complaints:
Final Fantasy VII - Advent Children hasn't got the most complicated story in the world. That's good. For a change, it's great to see a film and know exactly what is going on at all times. But the story has one flaw; it's almost that it has half a dozen endings. At least that's what I felt when I watched it. Cloud is gone. Well, he comes back. Three guys terrorize Shinra and Midgard. Well, Cloud kicks their @$$es. Marlene is kidnapped. Well, Cloud saves her and takes her home. Cloud can't forgive himself for Aerith's death. Well, eventually he does. A great dragon from space (Super Bahamut) attacks the city. Well, Cloud kills him. To me, it seemed more like the film was a collection of TV episodes than a actual movie. It's quite often the film fades to black for a while before continuing. Another thing is the fact that considering that this is a film that is based on a game that had ten, TEN, main characters, it isn't too much of a surprise that not all is introduced immediately. Still, when Barret, who was introduced from the very beginning of the game, is not introduced in the film until the last third of the film, you feel kinda robbed. But as reward to those who liked him, he introduce himself by firing off the absolutely SICKEST and COOLEST gatling gun I have ever seen in any film or computer game. The film's general pace variate a lot. It's very stand-still and emotional, or nearly non-stop sick-@$$ b@ll$-to-the-wall action on speed. No middle thing. It's either very high paced or almost stopped. Another note (this is not necessarily a complaint) is that the film is flowing over with effects in true Matrix-style. And since it's ALL computer generated imagery, there's no clipping or re-editing of the scenes to make them look more realistic than what's already there. Very huge amounts of Hong Kong kung fu-based combat and slow motion effects are in place as well.
In favor of the film, I have to say that this is one of those film that must, and most likely will, come to its absolute right on DVD. FF - The Spirits Within had a s#!+load of extras and other stuff on its DVD release, and I can't see the possibility how Advent Children could not outmatch that. There's so much more that's attached to the FFVII-concept and phenomenon to ignore. I say that FFVII could actually turn into a frenzy on the same scale as Lord of the Rings. Now, whatever you do; make sure you see this film at least a couple of times before you die. It's that good.