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192 reviews in total 
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Shining Force II (1993) (VG)
This was my Final Fantasy before I knew of it., 27 June 2016

I loved both the first game and the sequel. In the mid-90s, I was playing Sega Genesis and logging 60-80 hour playthroughs of Shining Force II.

The story follows Bowie, a youngling, who is charged with fighting the monster that is in the tower of the castle, and then when the King falls ill, it is Bowie who goes off on adventures as the savior of the town.

You gain characters to add to your team, and in the battles it's a turn- based strategy game. You move players like chess (depending on their movement attribute) and then attack or heal others. It's in-depth and immensely fun and submersive. It's great to experiment on several playthroughs to check out other characters since you're limited to a specific number of players on the battlefield.

It combines adventure, RPG and TB-Strategy elements into one game that makes for a story as long as Final Fantasy. To this day, I still play it and now for greater ease of access the game is available on Steam for $4 or less (which is wonderful since the game is $90 in cartridge form). In either case, the game is well worth the money since it's one of the best games ever created.

Deadpool (2016)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Reynolds Plays It Well, 26 June 2016

Ryan Reynolds finally plays a comic book character that we was meant for. After the disaster of Green Lantern, years ago, Ryan got his chance to play a role he was destined for.

As an R-rated film, and highly discussed by many about how "this is not a kid's movie" the film is kind of tame in its uses of adult subject matter.

It's a good story, about the vigilante / anti-hero Deadpool. It has strong comedy elements, it plays out realistically, and it really works well as a romance too. It hardly even feels like a comic book movie. I'm hoping the atmosphere of Deadpool 2 is similar.

Morena Baccarin was wonderful in the role and fits really well with Ryan. Supporting characters of Colossus and Negasonic seemed forced, however, due to limited budget of licensing for more X-Men characters.

Most of the action sequences are fun but some people may not be able to handle them very well due to the gore. Humor is very active in the action scenes and the film's R-rated content keeps light hearted. Aside from some of the kills in the film, the laidback feeling makes me feel that the film is suitable for some kids (depending on age).

This was definitely the first must-see of 2016. Deadpool is a great film all around and should be seen by everyone, even if you're not a comic book person.

Trainwreck (2015)
Accurate Title, 26 June 2016

Like many films, the preview is the best part. It was better as an idea spoken about in the trailers, rather than watching the actual film.

Amy is a "trainwreck" after told by her father at a young age that monogamy isn't realistic. So she becomes promiscuous, while her sister is a polar opposite. She is charged with writing a piece on a sports doctor, played by Bill Hader.

The film's couple seems like a strange combination, but they do have a few good moments in the film. Amy's reactions to most things in the film and sarcastic, dead-pan humor works pretty well. But most of the plot falls flat.

This is just a mess of a film overall and the purpose of the film seems lost. Bill Hader just doesn't have the ability to be a lead love interest. He doesn't seem like a highly successful sports doctor.

Best part of the movie comes from non-actor LeBron James and his scene- stealing time in the film. Beyond that, this film is definitely a wash. It has no replay value. It doesn't have enough class or intimacy to be a film that is watchable more than once. Even watching it once is kind of unnecessary.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Time Travel Done Awkwardly, 24 June 2016

I'd prefer to give this a 5 and 1/2 but can't give half points. This film is nothing more than a standard popcorn flick. But it doesn't achieve this very well.

Britt Robertson is becoming a household name, and plays well opposite of George Clooney. This film, though, never really gathers steam or gives purpose. It is strange that the film progresses along and hints that the Casey character has a pre-destiny, but really the film is just a basic puzzle plot and the future isn't anything spectacular.

Visually the film does nothing special with the use of effects. A large majority of the film feels like they were making it up as they went. It doesn't feel like a time travel movie such as Back to the Future. Instead it lazily uses "what ifs" through a pin, and then uses exposition through a character that explains the future.

Hugh Laurie's appearance in the film sticks out like a sore thumb, since he doesn't really add much to the film. He definitely seems like a miscast. Acting was average by everyone and honestly Clooney phoned in his performance.

This film is just a mediocre one that could be watched to pass the time if you have no other options on Saturday night. If you never watch it, you're not missing out.

2 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Rude Awakening, 24 June 2016

I am not by any stretch trying to bash Star Wars, here, since it is a beloved franchise of mine. However, it falls very short of expectations and I'm not alone in that regard.

I'm not saying this was a terrible addition to the saga. But this feels very familiar. It seems like I'm watching A New Hope told in a different way and with new characters.

Finn, Rey and BB-8 are great new characters and the inclusion of Han Solo really helped the pacing of the film and pass the torch to the younger generation.

Plot-wise, this movie is nearly a carbon copy of A New Hope and The Phantom Menace. It feels as though Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt couldn't come up with an original idea. I'm hoping that the next film isn't a copy of Empire Strikes Back and/or Attack of the Clones.

Acting was average but because I felt like I already saw the movie, it doesn't really engage me in any character, to be honest.

Adam Driver was good as Kylo Ren, but the exposition of him was done much too quickly. Mystery behind a character, not seeing their face or not knowing their background makes the villain that much more intimidating. The writers exposed it all too soon in the film. It takes away from the development of the character during the film.

All in all, it was an alright film. It doesn't feel like it was a must-see after you see it. I didn't leave the theater immediately wanting to return. Most viewers won't want to go back and see it right after. It doesn't leave a lasting impact where you continue to discuss the film, unless it's ways they could have made it better.

I still look forward to episode VIII but I still dread that they will use plot elements from Empire or Attack.

Argo (2012)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Another Affleck Masterpiece..., 11 November 2012

It's not a surprise to once again see Ben shine through his directing, acting and in his producing give his audience such attention to detail. Ben gives a performance of a lifetime in Argo, and he definitely is the best actor to see in the film.

Ben's attention to detail and his casting director have made this film incredibly accurate. Despite the fact that portions of the film are dramatized for entertainment purposes, I find the film not only informative but brutally full of suspense. I say brutally because some points I was holding my girlfriend's hand very tight and I had white knuckles out of fear for what might happen to these characters.

The film plays out a story about six American diplomats trapped in Tehran, and in hiding for 444 days. The U.S. comes up with plans to get them out, but Tony (Ben Affleck) doesn't have good feelings about any of them. Finally, he's inspired to pretend to make a Canadian movie in Tehran to get them out under the guise of them being film crew.

I understand that there some inaccuracies and it's to be expected but I still stand by saying that it's a highly accurate film. Many films out there based on or inspired by true stories take liberty and dramatize things for entertainment purposes.

I enjoyed the acting from everyone in the movie, not just Ben. But all of the American diplomats had great development and some scenes with them seemed genuine and not even as if they were acting. I really enjoyed both Goodman and Arkin, and they give a lot of star power with their acting. I wasn't surprised that Bryan Cranston had involvement but I was wondering why he wasn't offered a bigger role since he can definitely handle himself.

Most of the time period stuff seems on par, and all the history seems to be top notch. I really enjoyed the flakes of comedy that showed here and there throughout the film such as the one-line catch phrase said by Ben, Alan and John.

Met with so much drama, inspiration to many, and topping it off with strong suspense, Argo is a film that is a memorable one to be viewed for a long time because it's an instant classic. Argo depicts many people of different nationalities as saviors, and heroic. That's something everyone can enjoy while watching this movie.

Argo is one of those films from 2012 that should be on everyone's "do not miss it in theaters" list. It's truly one of the top movies of the year and certainly one of the best in that last few years. I'd go as far to say that objectively, this is Ben's best work acting and directing wise.

Super 8 (2011)
Super 8 is super!, 17 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It took me a year to see this and I'm glad that I waited till the hype died down and didn't have to listen to others' opinions of it and hear spoilers. But, when the train crash happens in the film, I already felt like I'd seen this before.

But, that's not written how I mean it to sound. This is a great film on multiple levels. J.J Abrams is becoming predictable, but unlike Michael Bay's level of absurdity, Abrams makes his films work with the ridiculousness.

Overall this is just another alien invasion film and has a similar feeling to it as Cloverfield. But, instead of an adult subplot that nearly dominated that film, this film has a surprising ensemble cast of kids. It has a feel of The Goonies mixed with Cloverfield.

Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths proved that no experience doesn't mean that you can't be captivated by an unknown actor in this debut performance. My one gripe for them is Riley's overused "mint" line during the film.

However, perhaps the most amazing accomplishment is the acting performance of Elle Fanning. I'd seen her sister, Dakota, in many films before and thought she was decent, but I was blown away by Elle. Not just her acting, but her elegant beauty similar to Bonnie Wright and her innocence because of her age gives off this great next door girl vibe and makes the film much more spectacular.

Combined with the astonishing acting by everyone involved -- including Noah Emmerich -- the special effects and sound effects make this movie complete gold cinema in my eyes. It's just got the feel of a instant classic and due to the homages to '70s films, it feels like an old '70s Super 8 film.

I can't say anything bad about the film because quite honestly, I didn't see anything bad in the film. Steven Spielberg helped J.J Abrams craft a truly remarkable alien invasion movie that can't be forgotten in a couple years. Years -- perhaps decades -- to come, this movie will be a cult classic.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Best Zombie Movie!, 30 August 2011

Night of the Living Dead might be a remake, but this is the definitely the best and my all-time favourite zombie movie ever made. It ages so well and still in 2011 feels like it came out last year.

Zombie make-up effects are top-notch even for 2011. It doesn't feel like the zombie effects have lost their scare-tactic. In the beginning of the film it is plainly obvious that the large zombie is a doll/dummy. But even that doesn't take much away from the movie.

George's screenplay is the main reason of making this film so good. He's the zombie expert and the way he secludes the film to an unknown location makes the viewer feel just as claustrophobic, especially if you watch this at night in the dark.

Patricia's acting is decent and although she's the main character, I truly believe this film belongs to Tony Todd. He's great in all his scenes. He's truly the zombie killer to have on your team. He is able to be strategic and be physically useful by overpowering or out-maneuver the zombies in many instances.

Once the zombies get into the numbers of two dozen, the movie becomes very eerie. But, in the climax of the film is my favourite part, without giving anything away. I like the twists and turns the movie (George) throws at you.

It's untouched by any modern movie that has come out, even Resident Evil because this gives you the vibe that it's just Barbara, Ben and a couple others. It's not a SWAT team fighting hordes of zombies. It's a few people surviving like normal people. That's what makes it such a great film.

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Better Than the First!, 29 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I hate the Twilight series. But, I'm not a hater simply because it's the cool thing to do. I don't hate the series because I'm outside of the demographic region being a 22-year old male. No, I hate it because the series is appalling. Yes, the premise of a female human and a male vampire (both adolescent) is a superb idea. But, the way that Meyer executed her idea was atrocious. Rosenberg stepped it up a notch for New Moon and it's probably a lot of credit to throw at the male director for making it better too.

New Moon doesn't quite fail as much as its predecessor. In fact, it's a major improvement. Now, I'm not saying the special effects are better, which is sad because the movie got an approximate 140% budget increase. But actually what is better is the acting! Thankfully, Stewart's portrayal went from blinky, unemotional, boring girl to a girl with emotion in her lines and she conveyed love in her eyes. She became a bit interesting. Unfortunately, Robert's acting was still stiff as a bone, though.

Jacob is probably my most hated character, however. I mean, yes Robert's acting is horrible and Taylor's is not bad...but Jacob is a usurper as Bella clearly belongs to Edward. In Edward's absence, Jacob takes to bonding with Bella and attempts too hard to hold her hand or kiss her. For some odd reason, Bella falls in love with him. I never saw anything between them emotional. I think Taylor's muscle has something to do with Bella's growing hormones and she just wants to jump his bones.

In the finale of the film, Edward has a pointless fight with Volturi which is where a bunch of special effects come into play. It was very irritating to watch because of how pointless the fight was. I would have much preferred the fight between Edward and Jacob to happen. But the 'perfect' Bella has to get in between and tell them that it will hurt her. I would say that the werewolf effects are cool, but it's just simply not as good as the potential that it had. Jacob turns to a werewolf a little to quickly and it should hurt, in my opinion, when he does transform. But it looks like there is no downside at all to him being a werewolf, so what's the reason for keeping it a secret? I'm not saying that New Moon is good. I'm not saying I like it. But I will say, I don't hate it. It's not the worst movie ever made, but it's not good either. It's down at the bottom of the barrel but I just can't decide where.

Twilight (2008/I)
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
I Don't Wanna Be Lumped As A General Hater..., 26 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sometimes you can't help but give a 1 rating because the movie is just simply that bad. I don't want to be lumped as a person who hates Twilight for simply being cool or as a general hater. I have reason for hating this thing...

First, let's start with the acting. How on Earth can anyone take this acting seriously? Stewart's constant blinking sets off an all-caps-rage with me and she's not even the worst part of this movie, which says a lot, folks. Robert plays the worst vampire ever created. He looks like a pedophile in a few scenes and consider he's probably over 80, he technically is a pedophile. He acts like he's afraid to speak, when it should be Bella who's afraid to speak. Near the end of the film, the 'bad' vampires crouch in front of the Cullens (who also crouch) showing that they are hungry for Bella's blood. It's so laughably ridiculous that it's shameful to think anyone would find this as the most dramatic moment in the movie or call it the climax of the film.

That being said, the plot never shows up. I never felt like there's a reason to watch this. I watched it so I could give a valid review having seen it, finally. But, I kept waiting for a reason for all this to be happening. It never came. It was just, "stay away, I'm dangerous" and then nothing even happens to Bella.

How about the 'visual effects'? For a movie with a substantial budget of nearly $40M, you'd expect better special and visual effects. Plus, I expected the vampire make-up effects to be better. I was very tamed and unimpressed about all three effects department. But, I guess it's not completely their fault since they had to build these concepts for the film off of poorly written material. Really...? A vampire sparkles in the daylight? That's their golden special effect? I feel sorry for

Melissa Rosenberg, because most of the time (I know her as a writer for The O.C.) she is talented. Maybe it was the fact that she was not doing a teleplay but an actual screenplay. Maybe it was the fact that she had to stay true to Meyer's horrible story in the books and couldn't change anything. Whatever the reason, the script is filled with cringe worthy dialogue that makes anyone with half a brain roll their eyes in utter bewilderment. "You're my own personal brand of heroine," is such a romantic pick-up line, isn't it? It worked on the slut Bella, since Edward is like, so, totally the dreamiest of men in the world. Ahem, erm, uh, vampire, I mean. Seriously the dialogue is so cheesy and stolen from other movies, it's super-difficult to resist mocking it.

In a 2-hour movie, (why??) the establishment to the audience that the Cullens are vampires takes too long (45 minutes invested movie time). For people who don't read the books, maybe it would have been better to come into the story later on or perhaps tone down the outside-of-school time. Maybe tone down the entire thing... oh wait...there's 4 more films of this trash.

After years of refusing to watch this because of all the people I know who have intelligence and taste, I can safely say this is the worst movie ever made and I'd watch any other terrible movie (ie. Meet the Spartans, Blair Witch, Date Movie, Butterfly Effect 2, etc.) again and again before I ever gave this a second viewing.

Stephanie Meyer's finger should have never clicked a mouse to view wikipedia nor touched a computer keyboard to type her ridiculous story. You want a real vampire movie? Check out Interview with a Vampire, or Blade, or even 30 Days of Night was better than this.

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