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Red Asphalt II (1978)
A worthy sequel.
Red asphalt II is the sequel to the original Red Asphalt, put together by the California Highway Patrol to educate new drivers of the dangers of driving unsafe. If you are looking for a great motivator to drive safe, this is definitely worth a view.
The video contains a fair amount of gore and is narrated by various members of the CHP. A lot of them sound very similar to police officers you speak with even today, complete with a touch of dark humour (We'll be there to peel you off the highway.) Some of the gore includes a roadway covered in blood, and a girl whose leg has had it's skin ripped off down to the bone.
This one plus the 3rd one are both my favourites in the series as they blend the reality of careless driving, and a narrative really well (This one does it better, however.) and even today this video holds up well.
What's kind of funny is how many of the CHP officers are talking about wearing safety belts yet they aren't wearing them during driving scenes - in reality they're probably being towed, and not really driving.
Finally, for fans of scary logos, the logo at the end of this video is right up there with the Screen gems "S" from hell, along with really creepy synthesizer behind it. It even uses the same yellow background.
Red Asphalt III (1989)
Certainly the messiest of the Red Asphalt series
The philosophy behind the California Highway Patrol's Red Asphalt series is simple - don't try to reason with people, just scare the hell out of them. Red Asphalt hopes that's what happens to it's viewers, that they are scared out of their wits that they ALWAYS follow the rules of the road.
Red Asphalt III is definitely a relic of it's time (1989) simply by looking at it's presentation - the videos are commentated on by a video editor and a CHP officer, both sitting in front of a giant screen while at apple mcintosh computers. The officer is definitely welcome to talk, but the video editor is as ridiculous as it gets. He exaggerates in a really unbelievable way and almost overreacts to each video he sees.
RA III contains probably the most gore of all the red asphalt videos. If you're into the traces of death series, this is a nice little treat. Scenes in this one include a man who crushes his head and loses his brains, and a teenage girl who winds up face first into her steering wheel, and a few other messy jewels all over the video.
One final note - At the beginning of the video, Maury Hannigan makes an appearance. He's best known for hosting "Real stories of the highway patrol" which was a popular alternative to Cops back in the 90s.
Finally, Remember to buckle up, don't drink alcohol and drive a car, and always, always follow the rules of the road. If you don't, you could wind up in the next Red asphalt video.
Happy Gilmore (1996)
A Comedy that's only blotched by one single flaw
Adam Sandler, whether you love him or hate him, he still makes movies and this one is arguably his best. He crossed the blue-blooded traditions of golf with the rabid, blue-collared style of hockey, and brings about a comedy that is still loved to this day.
Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) is a failed hockey player who has a sweet heart but a short temper. That, and a slapshot that could send a puck through 6 inches of Kevlar. While his grandmother's house has been repossessed by the IRS, But in his words "A house my grandfather built with his bare hands." Happy learns that his mean slapshot translates into a 400+ yard golf drive, something that has never been seen before. With a few strokes of luck, Happy gets an opportunity to get his grandmother's house back by joining the golf tour, With the support of tour coordinator Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen) and legendary golf pro Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers) but he's got a rival in Shooter McGavin (Christopher MacDonald) the leading money winner who has never won a gold jacket, as well as a lifelong enemy in Price is Right gameshow host, Bob Barker.
Now this movie is downright hilarious. From Happy's antics on the golf course, to his unbelievable showdown with Bob Barker, It is a riot of laughter and humor. But as I mentioned in the summary, There's one single flaw that this movie could've done without.
In-film advertisements. If you didn't notice, Pepsi and Subway commercials are littered throughout the film. The arena where Happy tries out for his local hockey team has Pepsi clocks. Happy brings Subway home for his girlfriend. Shooter asks specifically for a diet Pepsi from Virginia. Happy Gilmore is teamed up with Bob Barker on the Pepsi Pro-Am. Happy gets $50,000 from doing a Subway commercial, and gets free Subway for life. There's Subway logos littered all over the tournament championship course.
And it gets worse - if you watch the heavily censored TV version of this movie, the editors removed almost all of the product references in the movie's dialogue, but the worst edit is the logo on Happy's subway shirt. The editing they did is blatantly obvious. Other movies had obvious product placement in them too (GMC trucks in Lethal Weapon 2, Pepsi in Home Alone, McDonalds in Big Daddy) But here it's overdone.
At any rate, it's a comedy that's achieved a cult status and it's possibly the best film Adam Sandler's ever done. Now if we could all just forget about Jack & Jill.
The mystery of the max headroom pirate
The allure of a mystery can really bring out the interest in people, even more so when the case remains unsolved, and even better, the case is real.
The idea for this 1 and a half-minute short to even get a page on the IMDb just goes to show how popular this mystery is.
The bit begins with an unknown man in a max headroom mask. Throughout the video, he makes references to Clutch Cargo, and Coke & Pepsi, before ending with having his backside spanked by another unknown.
And that's it. And for almost 30 years now, it has caused many internet geeks, myself included, to drive ourselves crazy begging for whoever did this to come forward and tell us how he or she did it.
PAW Patrol (2013)
No job is too big, No pup is too small
Just recently, i spent the weekend out in a small village with my brother and Sister-in-law. They have 3 kids and those 3 kids absolutely love this show...until another one comes along and takes it's place but for the time being, this is currently their favorite show.
Paw patrol is about a group of puppies that act as public servants in adventure bay. Chase is a German shepherd pup who resembles a traffic cop, and usually directs traffic in appropriate situations. Marshall is a dalmation pup who resembles a fireman, and usually provides water when necessary and showers when it is not. Rubble is a bulldog pup who resembles a construction worker who digs with his excavator on his side. Then there's Skye, a Cocker-spaniel/poodle pup that can fly and apparently is a love interest for Chase. There's other pups in the paw patrol but i can't remember them.
This show serves it's purpose. It keeps your pre-schooler occupied for 20 minutes and it's over. It's cute but cute is par for the course in children's television....and Apparently, so is making CGI cartoons too.
It's still a young show, entering a 3rd season. Whether it lasts beyond 3 seasons is up to the kids' interest in it.
Jurassic World (2015)
Taking bets on who's gonna get eaten first.
It's Jurassic Park. You just know someone is going to get devoured. It's just a matter of who's going first.
22 years after the original Jurassic Park was built, the popular tourist attraction Jurassic World operates, as originally envisioned by the visionary John Hammond. Visitors can interact with herbivore dinosaurs and witness the decimation of livestock by the carnivores. But after 10 years of operation, the park's visitor rates are declining. They need something that's going to bring back the people. As a result, they create a new dinosaur. But this dinosaur's more intelligent than the mad scientists who created her. and pretty soon, the park becomes an entrée plate of goodies. The real question is, who stays alive and who gets eaten?
For those who love a good monster movie, you're in for a good time. The action comes and goes and the survival horror mentality is there.
First of all, it was nice to see Chris Pratt as the hero but since he came off the lapels of Star-lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, it's kind of hard not to see him that way here. To me, he's still Star-Lord, except now, he's dealing with dinosaurs.
Bryce Dallas Howard plays the quintessential woman of the film, Aunt Claire. And personally, I wanted her to get eaten the most (Well, except for Private Pyle) She demeans her nephews and treats them as if they're young children, when they somehow get a 1992 Jeep Wrangler running on fuel and a battery that had been sitting for 20 years, and they can drive Stick shift. Aunt Claire wears heels and gets glorified like Wonder Woman. That's the only thing that prevented me from giving this movie a 10.
And I mentioned Private Pyle. Vincent D'Onofrio. He played Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket back in 1987 and here, in an ironic twist, he's now a top military guy, looking for a new way to fight insurgents around the world...and trained killer dinosaurs come to mind.
To close the review, I recommend you go and see this film. It's going to have a sequel in a few years, and hopefully that one will be as fun as this one was.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
Must-own for the 7th-gen consoles
Years ago, I made a review for the Original X-com; Enemy unknown from 1994, when we all thought that X-com game was the only one that would exist...and then 2K & Firaxis teamed up to bring us this Masterpiece.
Set in the year 2015, assuming the year is still 2012, Aliens from outer space have invaded earth, and have begun killing, capturing & consuming humans. in the midst of this, the world's governments have come together and formed X-com, a project that has sworn to eliminate the alien threat, by any means necessary. But, if the project doesn't do as well as the nations of the world hope, they might just back out of the project, taking valuable funding with them. As the commander at X-com, it's your job to guide soldiers in battle, build a base and arm interceptors to shoot down UFOs around the planet. And the council will grade you on it. They'll be in touch, Commander.
This is the granddaddy of Strategy games, Games like Starcraft, Age of empires, and Master of Orion exist solely because of the original X-com. the 2012 remake is also a fun game, and it also tones down the difficulty and makes the battles a bit simpler for gamers of this decade. The gameplay is very similar, although battle-mode has been made a lot more simple. Time-units are replaced by lines that say how far your soldier can go before he's dashing, and it seems you get more hits in battle. The biggest and most disappointing difference is the number of soldiers you can send into the field, starting at 4 and capping at 6. Why would a government-funded program designed to fight 20-30 aliens on one field, only send out 6 soldiers?
The music has been totally changed from the original. Personally, I loved John Broomhall's score from the original game a lot more, but there are pieces from the 2012 game that are worth their weight, like "To the fallen" and "Depths of the hive mind" both composed by Michael McCann. The music lacks an eerie/creepy vibe and has a more movie-epic sound to it.
At times, this game feels like it's setting you up to fail, and at times, you'll have to retreat from a battle, or, you'll have to ignore a UFO over a foreign country, because the cost to replace a battle-hardened Colonel or an interceptor ship is not worth the risk of charging them to their death. It's hard to accept, but sometimes you have to pull out from the battlefield, and take the verbal beating from the council.
Overall, I totally recommend anyone to play this game while they're still available at EB & Gamestop.
American Ultra (2015)
Stoner Comedy meets Action Suspense.
When it comes to blending action with comedy, some films hit the mark (Lethal Weapon & Rush Hour) and others, don't (Paul Blart) but when you combine action/suspense with stoner comedy, then what leads is one of the most fun films you'll see this summer.
Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is an everyday small-town stoner, who works a bland job at a market, with the goal of marrying his girlfriend, Phoebe (Kirsten Stewart) but what he doesn't know, is that he's actually an experiment conducted by a CIA agent named Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) and that the CIA has put out a hit on him. With lots of time and money invested in Howell, Lasseter goes out to his little town and "activates" him, turning him into a stone-cold killer. But while he's the perfect killer, he's also a sweet guy who just wants to be with his girlfriend.
First off, I want to say that this flick was funny as hell and chocked full of good action. I had a good time watching it and I was rooting for Mike all the way. But while this film is awesome, I have some complaints but i'll get to them after the pros.
Jesse Eisenberg nails the role of stoner perfectly. He's a chilled out lovable guy who just wants to be with his girlfriend and a joint of marijuana. You want to climb into the screen and smoke a fat one with him. and you want to watch his back when he's surrounded by 6 assassins...not that he'd need you.
Kirsten Stewart might be known best for her role in Twilight and of course we all know how much those stories mean to single women who spend a lot of time writing fanfictions inspired from a Danielle Steel paperback, but here, she's actually not that bad. She needs to do more comedy cause she works well as the "straight man" or woman in this case. Although she might be typecast for romance films, maybe someone like Ellen Page or Kaya Scodelario would've been a better Phoebe, but hey, it's Kirsten Stewart. can't change it now.
Connie Britton fits her role well too. It's almost like watching Colonel Trautman with Rambo from First blood, assuming Mike Howell is John Rambo.
OK, now the complaints. first, the obvious. The shaky camera....Hollywood, get it through your thick dumb skulls; We HATE shaky cameras during fight scenes. It doesn't make the scene more exciting or interactive, it just makes the fighting hard to see. Enough already!
John Leguizamo. The guy is awesome, one of my personal favorite actors and half the reason I came to see this movie. And they gave him the persona of a wigga. Really? This guy was Benny Blanco from the Bronx and Luigi Mario...OK, maybe that wasn't his shining role as Luigi but he should've at least gotten more screen time.
Overall, I totally recommend this film, but maybe you should get baked before going to see it. Or at least get baked for the ending.
The final movie in the Disney renaissance
From 1989 to 1999, Walt Disney studios created some of the most amazing, mind-blowing animated movies of all time. From the little mermaid to beauty and the beast, from Aladdin to the lion king, from Pocahontas to Hercules, and finally, Mulan to Tarzan, these movies still hold their staying power to today. However, Tarzan was the last of these films, from the period known as the Disney Renaissance. Disney remains a popular animation studio in the public eye, but no one could deny how popular they were throughout the 1990s.
Tarzan itself is based upon the novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the movies from the 1930s. Tarzan is a baby who loses his parents, and is adopted by a family of gorillas, who raise him up as their own.
For a Disney film, this one is one of the best. For a renaissance film, It's not the best of them. I still like to say that the first 2 (The Little Mermaid & Beauty and the Beast) were the best. I know that some Disney fans would chew on me for not saying The Lion King, but that's just my personal preference.
I still think it's a great movie, worthy of being part of the collection of Disney's best.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)
I've never seen the original Paul Blart film, but from what the reviews say, it's apparently not bad. but the 2nd one is the real deal, it sucks.
First of all, you could've hired a fanfiction writer to write the script, and it probably would have been funnier. Heck, I could've written a funnier script than what they came up with.
There's only one real redeeming quality to this film, and that's it's physical comedy. Some of the bits were well timed, but most of the time, it's just Paul Blart falling down.
The story is a hack plot. Blart's off to Las Vegas, and just happens to get wrapped up in the middle of an art heist. There's not much else that I cared about in the film.
1/10...don't go see it.