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A brilliant sequel to one of my favorite games
COMMENT TO THE PC-VERSION:
"Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" is the sequel the brilliant "Max Payne", and is one of the best titles available. The gameplay remains largely the same, but more refined and the graphics have been vastly improved. The look of the main character Max Payne has also been changed, and he has been given a more mature look this time around. In the game you will play Max Payne for most of the time, but sometimes you will need to take control of a female character named Mona Sax. The brilliant bullet-time mode is also improved in this game, and Max Payne has a new set of stylish movements that he is only able to perform in bullet-time mode. These new moves have little to no effect on the gameplay, but they look extremely cool. In the game you will play through a film-noir story, told using the in-game graphics engine and the graphic novel like in the previous game, that I think is brilliant. Playing this game is like having the lead-role in one of John Woo`s movies, as you take on hundreds of mobsters using a great variety of weapons. Playing this game on PC using a keyboard + a mouse for moving and aiming works incredibly well. The only possibly drawback in this game is that you need a very powerful computer for the game to play like it was meant to be played. All in all, this is one of the finest action-titles available now, that all fans of "Max Payne" should welcome with open arms.
The Super Shinobi (1989)
A great 16-bit sequel
I remember that "The Revenge of Shinobi" was one of my old favorites for the ancient Sega Mega Drive console(Sega Genesis in America). It has everything a great ninja-game needs. A great character, atmospheric locations, a lot of deadly enemies and superb music. Although technically superior to the original "Shinobi" of 1987, it still cannot match its older brother entirely in terms of fun. Sadly, they do not make games like this anymore, since I really miss these classic 2D sidescrolling action-titles, where Sega was one of the master-developers. I am looking forward to playing "Shinobi" for playstation 2, but I seriously doubt it to be as good as it ancestors. Play it, love it.
The pinnacle of the series
"Medal of Honor: Allied Assault" is in my opinion the pinnacle of the the series of "Medal of Honor". It also finally sees the series released on the ideal format; the PC. The PC is without a doubt the ideal format for FPS(first-person-shooter), since it gives you the best way of controlling your movement and aiming with a keyboard and a mouse. Graphically it is far superior to any of the previous versions, and also the current console-versions "MOH: Frontline" and "MOH: Rising Sun". Allied Assault really captures the feeling of fighting in World War II, and playing through it takes you to very different locations in North Africa, France and The Third Reich. One important note is that this is a very difficult game. It is a lot more difficult than any of the previous games in the series and the already mentioned console-versions Frontline and Rising Sun. Therefore it is safe to say that completing this game WILL require a lot of sweat, blood and tears. But when you finally complete this, you will by doubt think that it was worth the effort.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Better than its reputation
"The Matrix" was one of the best American movies of 1999, and this movie proves that it is not easy to follow up on a success as big as "The Matrix". "The Matrix Reloaded" is the inevitable sequel to the 1999-masterpiece, but is it as good as the original? No, a bigger budget and more gorgeous-looking action does not equal a better movie. You cannot deny that this as the first of two Matrix-sequels is one of the most ambitious movie-projects lately(apart from "Lord Of The Rings" of course). "The Matrix Reloaded" still suffers from Keanu Reeves poor acting, but this time also the lack of an adequate narrative. The plot turns out to be unnecessarily difficult to follow and many, many scenes should have been explained more(like who the Merovingian really was, and the previous "The One"). Much of the dialogue/monologue in this movie is in my opinion completely out of place and seems just like an excuse for the directors and writers to impress us with their knowledge of philosophy. One example of this is how the Merovingian suddenly delivers a long an quite unnecessary monologue about causality. I have studied philosophy, so I am familiar with the theories of causality, but this is not important for the telling of the story in this film. Another disappointment is the city of free men; the city of Zion. Zion as a city did not impress me, and it is a real problem for this movie that the directors did not convince me that it was worth fighting a (losing) war for this city. Despite of all these problems, this is good movie that is worth seeing. Why? Matrix-fans will absolutely want see this, simply because it is a Matrix-movie. Remember that it is an absolute must to have seen the first movie, in order to understand anything at all. It also remains an impressive scifi-action-movie with action-scenes to die for. It is also vastly superior to "The Matrix Revolutions" which I think was the biggest disappointment of 2003. All in all, this was not so bad, it was actually quite good.
I recently saw the original "Highlander" starring Christopher Lambert. I thought that this movie was quite good. The story surrounding the immortals that fight eachother using swords appealed to me, and I am a fan of Sean Connery, who also has a role in this movie(just a small supporting role, really). I also found the movie to be quite impressive from a technical standpoint, especially considering its age. The "Highlander"-series have been the flagship-series, so to speak, for actor Christopher Lambert. Christopher Lambert`s performance was pretty weak in this movie. What I thought carried this movie was great storytelling, quite impressive special-effects, great sword-fights and great performances from supporting actors like Sean Connery. Considering all the bad movies that were made during the 1980`s, this is in my opinion one of the better movies to come out of that decade. Well worth seeing.
Interesting, but too long
"Cowboy Bebop- the movie" is the only anime ever to be shown at my local cinema, and I knew I had to see it since I am a fan of anime. This movie is a fascinating scifi-action-comedy with Spike as the main character. I thought that this movie was good, although it`s biggest flaw was it`s length(over 2 hours). I cannot help but feel that the 2 hours+ running time is at least 30 minutes too much for a movie that has a rather simplistic plot. Apart from the length-issue, I felt that it was a very interesting movie with nice animation and plenty of stylish action. I guess that I would have enjoyed it more if I had seen the Cowboy Bebop-series.
Just thinking about playing "Shinobi" for the ancient Sega Master System-console almost makes me cry. "Shinobi" is for me one of my finest gaming-experiences ever, about one of the coolest things ever: ninjas!! I have always enjoyed playing games with ninjas, and ninja movies(particularly ninja-animes like "Ninja Scroll") "Shinobi" has had many sequels since the original was released over 15 years ago, but none have been even close of intimidating the original`s gameplay, style, atmosphere and fun.
Dead or Alive 3 (2001)
Arguably the finest fighting-game available for the current console-generation
"Dead or alive 3" is arguably the finest fighting-game available for the current console-generation(X-Box, Playstation 2 and Gamecube). This is a game that in my view is superior to competitors such as "Tekken 4", "Virtua Fighter 4" and even the mighty "Soul Calibur 2". Therefore, since I do not own an X-Box, I think it is a shame that it is only an X-box exclusive. The graphics here are the finest ever in a fighting-game, although pulling off moves using the x-box-controller can prove to be quite difficult for us who are used to playing on Playstation 2 or Gamecube. The gameplay is fluent, very realistic(mostly) and very intuitive.
If you want to criticize this game, it could be argued that it is in fact little more than a cosmetic improvement over "Dead or alive 2". Wonderful!
Triumph des Willens (1935)
Pure National-Socialist propaganda from Leni Riefenstahl
The NSDAP(Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, National socialist German Worker`s Party or just the Nazis) had before the war annual party-rallys in the city of Nuremberg that lasted for one week. "Triumph des Willens" is meant to be a documentary of the party-rally in Nuremberg in 1934, directed by Leni Riefenstahl. This is probably one of the scariest movies ever filmed, arguably not the because of the movie in itself but because we know what followed later. The pictures found here give us the impression of Germany under the National Socialists; they point in a direction of the total destruction that followed during the Second World War. When seeing this movie, you cannot deny that Leni Riefenstahl is a very skilled director, and Hitler himself is of course the main character. Hitler delivers here many of his most infamous speeches, that are often used in general documentaries about either Nazi-Germany or World War II. This movie pictures that Nazis in the way they saw themselves. One example of this is the opening scene of this movie. It shows Hitler in his plane up in the sky, a scene, which deliberatly gives the impression of a God descending from the sky to meet his loyal followers on earth. Trully one of the most controversial movies ever, but one that you should see. The DVD also comes with an additional commentary-track by an American professor of history, who has many interesting comments to the movie although his pronunciation of German names and words are not very good at all. This is pure propaganda, but one that is worth seeing, at least only once.
Bronenosets Potemkin (1925)
An important piece of cinema-history
"Battleship Potemkin" is a silent movie made in the Soviet-Union in 1925 by master-director Sergej Eisenstein. This powerful movie remains after almost 80 years a landmark in cinema-history. The movie tells the story of the crew on-board Battleship Potemkin during the revolution of 1905 after Russia had lost the war against Japan. On one side this is pure communist propaganda, on the other side this is probably one of the most powerful movies ever created. I saw this movie myself last year after my university teacher in Russian history recommended it to me. Powerful imagery is the main element that you will remember after seeing this movie, especially the scene where people are slaughtered at the steps of Odessa in the Ukraine. See it.
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
No, no, no, no
I borrowed "Freddy vs. Jason" on DVD from a friend of mine. I was a little interested in seeing it because it saw two of American horror-movie`s biggest giants clash together, although I at the same time expected it to be hm...... not exactly a classic. Was the movie great? No, it was not. The first 75 minutes of the movie was really boring, with no great fights, although it did became better in the end. This was not very fun at all. It was I guess a pretty good idea, that could have been far better. The movie did have quite a few nice splatter-effects but this did not carry the movie. Like all so-called horror-movies, there is no logic here.
"Princess Mononoke" is a beautiful anime from the one and only Hayao Miyazaki. This is a superb movie with great characters, wonderful animation and music and it also has many important messages for its audience. Characters are not like your black-and-white disney-like stereotype where all the characters are as good or as evil as they can possibly be. No, all characters found here appear to be more like a human being, where everyone possess good as well as evil qualities. Philosophy also plays an important part here, where one of the movie`s strongest themes is mankind`s relationship with nature. Miyazaki delivers once again a mesmerizing tale that possess both the power to entertain but also to make us think about our role in the world.
Sutorîto Faitâ II gekijô-ban (1994)
Everything you could ever wish for in a Street Fighter-anime
"Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie" is an anime that packs everything you could ever wish for in a Street Fighter-anime, and it is everything that the movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme should have been. I think of myself as a fan of the glorious Street Fighter videogames, and especially the original Street Fighter II videogame. This movie brings you brilliant martial-art-sequences and it really captures the atmosphere of the videogame. Pretty much all of SFII`s characters appear in this movie, and although Ryu and Ken are the main characters, every character from the game that is present here gets to fight. An excellent musical score is also worth noticing. This is in my opinion the finest pure martial-art-anime available today. This movie`s intro, where Ryu fights Sagat, is probably the best intro ever for an anime, and it really makes you expect an extraordinary film, and this movie more than delivers. Everyone with an interest in action-anime will love this, and it is completely perfect for the fans of the videogame-series. So, if you fancy watching an anime where you get to see old favorites such as Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li go head-to-head in explosive battles against villains such as Balrog, Vega and Bison, then this is your movie.
Tekken 4 (2001)
Probably the best in the series, but...
I used to consider myself a fan of the Tekken-series. I have played every instalment in the series since the original was released way back in 1995. Of course I bought "Tekken 4" for PS2. The graphics are the best in a "Tekken" game, but the game seems to be missing something very important; that undescribable something that used to make "Tekken" so much better than similar games. The series have not really changed much since the original and now it has some series competition in the form of such titles as "Dead or alive 3" for X-box. "Tekken 4" may look like a new game, but it feels like an old game that just is not as fun to play as it used to be. As a veteran of the series, I must sadly admit that if the developers do not give the inevitable "Tekken 5" a complete overhaul, than I do not wish to follow the series anymore.
Max Payne (2001)
One of the finest actiongames ever created
COMMENT FOR THE PC-VERSION:
"Max Payne" is brilliant. You just cannot say it in any other way. MP is a super-cool actiontitle that uses the so-called bullet-time effect to create extremely stylish shoot-outs where the main character Max Payne constantly dives into bloody gun-fights. Playing it again over 2 years since its first release still confirms its excellent quality, and it is a game that easlily passes the test of time. Some people may argue that this game is only inspired by "The Matrix", which is not correct. John Woo`s brilliant actionmovies like "Hard-Boiled" and "The Killer" are both among the most important source of inspiration for the Finnish developers. I can guarantee that if you give this one a go, then you will be hooked.
Die Another Day (2002)
Good enough action, bad Bond
"Die another day" is the latest in the long running series of movies based on Ian Flemming`s books about the British agent James Bond. Pierce Brosnan is, as most of you probably know, the fifth actor to play the role of James Bond. I think that Pierce Brosnan is an excellent James Bond, but this movie has some serious problems due to the fact that an above average actionfilm does not equal a good Bond-movie. This movie`s main strengths are huge, explosive actionscenes and the main character himself. This movie`s ugliest flaws are that the action becomes boring as you continue watching the movie, the lack of a good story and most important of all; the lack of a great villain. Who could possibly forget such memorable Bond-villains like Dr. No, Jaws, Scaramanga and Blofeld? The chief-villain found here is so poor that he is not worthy to be called a Bond-villain. As an actionmovie this is just above average, but this is just a bad Bond-movie. I recommend you to choose among the classics starring Sean Connery or Roger Moore instead.
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Jack Nicholson carries this movie
I bought "The witches of Eastwick" on dvd because I saw that Jack Nicholson was in it, and I am a fan of him. Jack Nicholson plays a character called Darryl Van Horne, which is the Devil himself. He delivers an absolutely brilliant performance. The story in itself is also pretty interesting, but the movie probably would not have been so good if it had not been for the presence of good old Jack.
Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta (1986)
Hayao Miyazaki`s flawless masterpiece
I have been a fan of Hayao Miyazaki`s films since I saw the wonderful "Princess Mononoke", but I did not get a chance to see "Castle in the sky" until a couple of weeks ago. "Castle in the sky" is just a fabolous movie with wonderful animation, a great musical score, great characters and everything that make Miyazaki`s films so great and different from anything else. If you want an anime-adventure, then this is one of the best you could ever wish for.
Kyûketsuki hantâ D (1985)
Great vampire-anime from the creator of "Fist of the north star"
"Vampire Hunter D" is a nearly 20 years old vampire-anime that I guess many will refuse to watch simply because its Japanese and that the animation looks rather rough now. D is the main character in this movie. He does not say a lot, but his powerful presence is felt all the time he is on screen. D is a dunpeal, which means that he is half-man and half-vampire. As the title suggests, D is a vampire hunter. "Vampire Hunter D" has rather rough animation, but this is in my opinion no problem at all, since you cannot refuse to see a good animated film, simply because it does not look as flashy as say a Disney-movie. "Vampire Hunter D" IS an anime for a mature audience simply due to the violent and sexual content in the movie. Probably the best thing about this movie is the music, which is completely brilliant and creates a perfect atmosphere. A great cult-classic that is released on dvd.
Jul i Skomakergata (1979)
"Jul i skomakergata" = Christmas
"Jul i skomakergata" is a series that has often been broadcasted here in Norway since it was made in 1979. For us it is one of our most deeply treasured television-classics that just about everyone loves to see. I saw it for the first time around 1986, and I saw it again last Christmas. It just is such a brilliant series, with great memorable characters and a kind of atmosphere which really gets us in a Christmas-mood. Perfect!
Broken Sword is back
"Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon" is the third title in the Broken Sword-series, with main characters George Stobbart and Nicole Collard. This game has everything that made the previous titles in the series so great. Superb and atmospheric graphics, a brilliant storyline, atmospheric music, puzzlesolving and a great script. The main difference in this game when compared to BS1 and BS2, is the gameplay. Gameplay is not point-and-click like in the previous titles, but you take direct control of your character, and your character will notice interesting items on his own. The most important aspects of any adventure title like this is the storyline and the script. And in this aspect "Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon" is among the best ever. I would say that this is one of the best titles I have played this year. This game is a thinking man`s game, and you do not get to shoot anything, so this title is not for your average action-addict of a teenager. Prepare to experience one of the finest gaming-experiences ever created.
Dead to Rights (2002)
Want to kill a ridicolous amount of bad-guys? Then this is your game.
"Dead To Rights" is a non-stop actiongame. You will constantly be diving into extremely violent and stylish gun-fights where you literally kill hundreds of bad-guys. You play Jack Slate, a cop framed for the murder of his own father. This game sees Jack Slate`s personal vendetta against his father`s killers, and everything is not what it appears to be. The story here is very simple, but yet it often surprises you as a gamer. The controls are easy to learn but the graphics are pretty average. This game is in many ways very similar to "Max Payne" and Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne". The PC-versions of the "Max Payne"-series are much better than "Dead To Rights", but on the consoles it is a different matter. "Dead To Rights" is in my opinion superior to the console versions of the "Max Payne"-series. This is mainly because of the gameplay. "Dead To Rights" was created for the consoles and for being played with a joypad and not a keyboard+mouse. What this means is that "Max Payne" was created for the PC, and playing these games on consoles using a joypad was not very good at all. On PS2, X-box or Gamecube. "Dead To Rights" is superior to MP1 and MP2
The grand debut of the master of anime
"The Castle Of Cagliostro"(TCOC) from 1979 is the grand debut Hayao Miyazaki, one of the world`s finest filmmakers and a master of anime. TCOC is a movie that has it all; action, adventure, romance, comedy. It is a superb movie that appeals to everyone. The main character is Lupin, the master thief, who you may know already if you have read the manga which this is based upon. Lupin travels to a European country called Cagliostro, where he intends to uncover the secret of The Castle Of Cagliostro. This is a must see, and it is also my favorite of all the Miyazaki-films.
This is an important piece of quality international cinema
"Nosferatu - eine Symphonie des Grauens" (Nosferatu - a symphony of horror) is to my knowledge the first vampire movie ever made, and in my opinion, this still stand as the benchmark. This film is directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, one of the masters of silent movies, and this is in my view his finest movie. This movie is full of very powerful imagery, which Murnau is famous for and Max Schreck is perfect as the vampire Count Orlok. This movie was recently released on a 2-disc dvd, which is a must for any serious filmcollector. If you want a great vampire-movie, you should go for this one, as it crushes the competition.
The original is back with
"Resident Evil" was originally released for playstation back in 1996. I have followed the evolution of the series for the last 8 years, and I still think that the original game is the best. Therefore I was happy to see that capcom would remake the original game for Nintendo`s Gamecube, so I just had to buy a Gamecube. "Resident Evil" for the Gamecube is a game that newcomers and veterans of the series should enjoy. This is a brilliant introduction for newcomers to the genre of survival horror, which I would say was invented by the original playstation-version(I know that "Alone In The Dark" was out first, but it really was "Resident Evil" that perfected the genre). For veterans of the series this is a brilliant return to where it all started 8 years ago: the scary, atmospheric mansion and T-virus. The graphics in this new version are some of the best ever created, but Capcom have not just released the old game with fancier graphics. There are many new rooms in this game, new story elements and monsters. Those of us who have played the original playstation-version dozens of times will absolutely want to complete this title, and the fresh elements that I have mentioned before will indeed justify buying it. I should also mention that this is a game for mature audiences that no one under the age of 15 should play. This is in my opinion one of the best games released for the Gamecube, and it is worth buying a Gamecube just for this title. 10/10