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"Castle" (2009)
281 out of 318 people found the following review useful:
Ah, a Breath of Fresh Air., 10 March 2009

The pilot episode for ABC's new crime show "Castle" left me wanting more, much more in fact, and that is exactly what a good pilot should do. The relationship formed between the two leads is unquestionably one of the best and is, so far, most endearing. It is impossible to not like them.

I'll start with Nathan Fillion(of "Firefly" fame). Nathan plays Richard 'Rick' Castle. His charm and wit and spot-on comedic delivery make him alone the reason to tune in each week. Move over David Boreanaz 'cause Nathan has got you beat in the plucky-comedic-male-sidekick-to-tough-and-serious-female-cop role. Nathan comes off as the friend we all want and treasure. Having followed Nathan's career rather closely I am glad to see him in this role. It fits his nature and you can tell he knows it too just by watching him. It's in his postures and mannerisms and facial expressions. I believe he said in an interview that he is "72%" this character and that sounds about right. He is comfortable in this role. Similar to how he was comfortable when playing Malcom Reynolds in "Firefly"(which, by the way, is the greatest show of all time...period).

Then there is Stana Katic, who plays Detective Kate Beckett, and God is she gorgeous and enticing. No wonder Nathan's character can't get enough of her. Stana manages to instill in the portrayal of her character enough grit and fortitude to be mysterious and alluring, while retaining a good amount of the audiences confidence in her ability to be a bad-ass. On the other side, though, she is beautiful and her lightly-flirtatious nature does not detract from the other part of her character but rather enriches it making her feel real rather than just a cliché tough female cop(because TV is full of them right now).

What it comes down to, ladies and gentlemen, is chemistry and these two have it. They are a joy to watch even when they are not in scenes together and that is what will keep viewers tuning in each week. This show has great promise.

Before I go I will note that it was nice to see real authors on the show(I will not reveal who). It adds another layer to Castle's character and makes for an amusing poker scene. I hope the producers arrange for more cameos of this nature.


12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
A Legend Worth Forgetting., 28 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**May be a spoiler or two but probably not**

"Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" is about a Chinese/American girl who goes from being a gifted concert pianist to Wushu master and savior of Bangkok Thailand's slums. And that is pretty much all that is discernible from a plot that bounces around more than the heroine when she battles bad guys...and girls. The movie's downfall is its attempt to cram too much of everything into a world and story that is a lot more simple.

The film starts off earnestly enough. The sweet tunes of a grand piano gently transport us into an ordinary world that is soon going to come crashing down. And crashing down it does and not in the good 'bashing your opponents face into the pavement' way, but rather in the bland character's, bad acting, convoluted and totally unbelievable story kind of way. Now, before I get into how bad this movie really is I will start with what is good about it. But 'good' certainly does not mean redeemable. The cinematography and camera work are great and truly capture the essence of the places the story takes us. The fight scenes are well-choreographed and well-shot for the most part, which is more than most Hollywood martial arts heavy films can say these days(I am glaring at the insanely hard to follow 'static-cam' of the "Bourne" films and Bond's latest foray into an unwelcoming action-genre).

And that, viewers, is where the goodness of this hack ends. What follows is a lot of over-acting to the point of hilarity, cheap and pointless one-liners, too many implausible scenarios that don't have any basis in anything related to reality. And yes, I know, this is 'Street Fighter' and it is based on a mildly supernatural video game but some of the events that occur in this film are just too over-the-top(Bison 'delivering' baby scene...enough said). The film raises questions we as viewers shouldn't need to ask...and then we never get answers to those questions! Chun-Li and Gen are the films 'strong' points. Bison is nowhere near as imposing as he should be. And even though his Irish(yes, apparently Bison is Irish) parents died just after he was born and he was raised on the streets of Bangkok with nothing but Thai people, adult Bison somehow managed to retain a spot-on Irish accent. Balrog is just plain hokey. Vega (who is supposed to be a Spaniard, but certainly is not in the film) is...well he just is. His character is neither cool nor threatening and not even as arrogant as he is supposed to be. The characters of Nash and Det. Sunee are totally forgettable and as a matter-of-fact totally unbelievable as well. No decent high-ranking detective, like Sunee claims to be, walks around as scantily clad as she does when she's at work.

Oh my God, ladies and gentlemen, I could go on and pick this film apart piece by piece but that would entail me giving away spoilers...and this film has spoiled having only been released yesterday. You wouldn't waste your money on spoiled food would you? I think not, so don't waste it on this tripe.

And for the record I am a fan of the games and I have seen the animes and read the graphic novels. I think I speak for all real fans that we want Ryu and we want Ken. We want their journey from children to brothers to karate street fighting masters. We want their revenge on Akuma and Ryu's scarring bout with Sagat. Simple. Right? No Interpol, no sexy cops, and no Shadaloo (supposed to be Shadow Law btw). You don't need those things to have a great fan pleasing 'Stree Fighter' film do you? I didn't think so. Simple. Simple. Simple. God, I am writer...I should just write the damn thing. It would certainly be better than what has been so far.


Advent Rising (2005) (VG)
23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
One of the Most Totally Underestimated Games., 1 December 2005

This game was released to a wide range of mixed reviews stemming from roughly 5/10 to 10/10. Being a huge Sci-fi Action fan I would rate it at 9.3/10. If I were the average gamer I would give it 7.0/10 and I'll tell you why I give both scores.

This game is a sci-fi action movie that you control. The emphasis is on story and character as opposed to overt game play, which is also it's downfall. But that isn't all bad because the story is engaging and powerful with probably the best video game musical score to back it up! (yes better than Halo's. I own both soundtracks). While this game has been argued as a Halo clone (they do share similar circumstances) I feel it's more original and compelling story line set it apart in that respect. Don't get me wrong I love both Halo video games, but Advent's story hits closer to home in which the choices you make(and they are tough choices) affect the game. There are minor glitches that are obvious signs the game was rushed into completion, but most of these can be over looked due the great many good aspects to the cool and stylish game play. The attacks and powers that are at your disposal are simply astounding and they are integrated into the control scheme flawlessly. Many gamers get turned off at the beginning because there isn't much to do and no cool powers to use, but if you stick it out (and you should because the story and characters pull you right in) you are in for a blockbuster of a gaming experience.

It is my hope that the sequels will be made, because as one gamer put it, "it would be like watching the first Star Wars film and never seeing the rest".

Given the time and dedication, the game's creators can make a truly revolutionary game that bridges the gap between film and video game. My only real request for the sequels would be the option to toggle their "flick" auto aim ability on and off. Sometimes ya just wanna shot an alien square in the nuts and see some rag doll physics.

I recommend this game to anyone willing to immerse themselves in a truly unique and engaging gaming experience.