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Murder in the First (2014–2016)
Not what I expected
10 June 2014
I went into this thinking it was just another Law & Order clone, like a million other shows out there these days, and I suppose I was somewhat pleasantly surprised.

The main detectives, played by Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson, don't initially seem like that great of a combination. She is a single mom who seems to have trouble with even getting a date, and he is married to a dying woman which is putting a lot of strain on his job, and that was primarily the focus of the show. The crime itself seemed to be secondary in nature, which is weird considering the name of the show, but most of time was dedicated to fleshing out the detectives and their lives.

Usually, that would cheese me off; I generally only watch these for interesting homicides and those classic action scenes we all know and love, but this was an interesting change of pace. At the end I found myself wondering if Diggs was going to be alright rather than how their case was going, and I think I can live with that.

I would have given the show higher marks, but I honestly do want to see a bit more action out of this first. Once they pick up the pace a little bit, this might easily turn into a new favorite.
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Bayonetta (2009 Video Game)
Best Action game in years
25 January 2010
I'm not usually one to play action games, more of an rpg fan, but there was something about this title that simply drew me in. Bayonetta isn't just another hottie with weapons, she knows how to use them and this game proves that over and over again.

I'll admit the plot is a bit simplistic. You are a witch who woke up at the bottom of the lake 20 years ago with no memories of your past, all you know is that every once in a while, angels try to send you to hell. Your henchman Enzo has located a rare gem that may clear up events of your past, so you set out on a journey to the island of Vigrid, a place filled with memories.

The cut scenes are over-the-top action-packed, and a little reminiscent of how Dante would roll in Devil May Cry. But Bayonetta actually makes it look good! Still, the best part is naturally the action. Combat has a very smooth flow to it that allows for a high number of combos with which to dispatch your angelic antagonists. Weapons ranging from simple handguns to claws, to swords, and even a whip, Bayonetta should have something in her repertoire for just about anyone. Not to mention, you can attach weapons to either your hands or feet in order to create some very unique combat combinations.

But don't be fooled, this isn't exactly a ride in the park either. The first play-through on normal is probably not that much of a challenge for anyone familiar with the genre, but that doesn't cover the extra content. There are portals to the angel's world all over the place with difficult challenges to complete, two harder difficulty modes, and several out-of-reach secrets that will require dexterity and acumen to discover. Best of all, almost everything you do has some manner of reward attached to it, so be prepared to spend a lot of hours on this.

All in all, I haven't had this much fun beating up things in a long time. The dialog is cheesy, the action is ridiculously bloody, and Bayonetta's boobs are way too huge for a human, but when put together this is a very potent combination. So put down DMC 4, forget about Dante's Inferno, get this game!
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School of Horror (2007 Video)
Long, unintentionally funny, but mostly long
12 July 2008
I knew I was in trouble the moment I saw the cover for this movie at the rental place; had all the usual signs of what I like to call home-made horror. Lately these have been springing up everywhere, it's like anybody with a camera and a tube of theater blood thinks they can whip up a scary story. This one is no exception to the rule.

The movie starts off slow, as we learn about Rocky "Horror" and his misguided attempt to make horror movies in film class. You can taste the irony here, considering that his in-movie movie is just as bad as this one. The story then revolves around him making his 'masterpiece movie', and getting all of his so called friends, plus the mysterious new kid, involved. The plot itself is easy to figure out hours before this will be over, at least it will feel like hours. Most of the bloody stuff happens off-screen, and most of the movie is in one room, so we have to rely on both really bad acting and hilarious over-acting to get us through this.

I did like some of the dialog, although it doesn't get really interesting until the last hour or so, and even then only true fans of cheese will crack a smile. Basically, until people start dying this is barely worth falling asleep to. All in all, this makes good background noise for when you have better things to do, but the lack of any good blood/gore and the sad, predictable 'twist' ending make this mostly unwatchable.
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The Toybox (2005)
So dumb it physically hurts to watch
24 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I only watched this because I saw a couple of good reviews for this, so I was expecting at the very least a half-way cheesy movie. Toybox doesn't even deliver that. There are so many problems with this flick, that I don't even know where to start, so I will list a couple of main issues (Once again, spoiler warning. Just read them, it'll save you the trouble of watching this later).

One, this movie starts out with, and often mentions, the mythical folklore of both Celeste Noir (A witch, who the main character claims she is the reincarnation of), and the mid-folker (or something like that, an evil man with a big smile who cuts people open with hooks and sells their innards in pies). I liked that, it was a cute concept, anything to do with pies is simply enjoyable. But then you watch the movie and it's all about this idiot girl and her boyfriend (And what was the deal with him? Was he psychic? Did he have powers? Why did he keep seeing visions that even the so called 'Witch' didn't notice??), and them meeting their insane family. Not really insane, they just argue a lot. That's what most of this movie is, arguing, and they barely touch on the supposed myth ever again except in a couple of confusing scenes that you can't make heads or tails of.

In one scene, Berenice (The main witch-related character) wanders off and does some sort of ritual by candle light. It seemed rather important, but absolutely NOTHING happened after she did it, it just wasted more of my time.

And who the hell was that guy with his dog? You see him walking towards the house from the very start of the movie with that evil red-eyed dog, and then he finally gets there and gets killed? What the hell?? Was he the mid-folker? Was his dog possessed? Did someone kill the dog? They never really showed that. Also, any scene involving the Vicar was completely pointless and only served to weakly explain the lame ending. It was like they had all these interesting character ideas and they all went nowhere! The boyfriend, who obviously had some sort of powers but never explains them. The grandmother, who appeared to also have some sort of witch powers, but never used them. The Vicar, who...OK, never mind, there really was no point for his existence at all. And then there was Berenice and her stupid amulet. Could she really do magic, or did she just use it to reflect light and blind people? This was a complete waste of time, and the only reason I give it two stars at all is because a) Berenice is kinda cute, and b) It mentioned pies. Save yourself the money of renting this and dear god don't even think about buying it, unless wasting money is a new fad.
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Detective School Q (2003–2004)
For Detective show lovers everywhere
3 February 2006
Tantei Gakuen Q, or Detective Academy Q, follows the adventures of a boy named Kyuu that inspires to be a detective ever since he was rescued from a kidnapping by a brilliant deducer during his childhood. In order to achieve his goal he enrolls in DDS, the Dan Detective School, famous for cranking out the most brilliant Sleuths on the market. Joined by Megu, a girl with photographic memory; Kinta, a martial artist with keen senses; Azuma, a wonder child and computer wiz; and the enigmatic and clever Ryou, who seems to have a lot of the same deductive skills that Kyuu does, they solve crimes in order to further their education.

This show is awesome. If you are into detective stuff at all, I highly recommend it. The cases are all beautifully outlined, and a lot of them you are able to solve yourself if you simply catch the subtle hints that are dropped throughout the progression of the episode. Some of these mysteries are simply amazingly put together, so don't miss it!
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Bleach: Burîchi (2004–2012)
Action, redefined
28 March 2005
For anyone who enjoys action anime, this is the stuff to watch. Bleach revolves around Kurosaki Ichigo, a regular always-grouchy high-schooler who for some strange reason is able to see the souls of the dead around him. Although they are not usually dangerous, there are some called 'hollows' that aim to eat the regular ones, and on one fateful night, his entire family is put in danger by them. A death god, Kuchiki Rukia, happens to be there to battle these creatures, and after a dangerous mistake she is forced to give her powers to Ichigo in order to defeat the monster.

Henceforth, Ichigo has to take over her duties as a death god, protecting good spirits and other humans from hollows. The action in this series is stylish and fast paced, and the story line has you wanting more almost every episode. Ichigo is funny because of his ever-grouchy personality, and his friends are just as hilarious in their own way.

If you watch any anime at all this year, make Bleach number 1 on that list.
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Alien Apocalypse (2005 TV Movie)
Hail to the King, Baby!
26 March 2005
Bruce Campbell is back! This movie has been a long time coming, and I am glad to report that it did not disappoint.

4 astronauts return from a 40 year mission to planet earth, only to find that it has been taken over by alien termites who have enslaved the entire human population. It is up to Doctor Ivan (Campbell) and Lt. Kate (O'Connor) to either free earth from this scum, or die trying.

The movie was a classic Bruce Campbell masterpiece, with witty one-liners, nice special effects and a rather beautiful scenery. Campbell has a lot of fun with this, delivering both wisdom and sarcasm wherever he can. Xena-alum O'Connor is brilliantly placed as his counterpart and gives her best performance in years.

All in all, if you enjoy Bruce's humor, and alien-butt whoopings, this is definitely the movie to watch.
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Dead Scared (2004)
Great fun for fans of the genre
3 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie despite many warnings, and I have to say that I am glad that I did. I picked it up to begin with because I was a fan of cheesy horror, and 'The Hazing' more than satisfied my need for blood.

The story itself is cliché, a couple of teens stay overnight in a haunted house in order to gain entrance into a fraternity/sorority, right after an interesting scavenger hunt. The action starts from there, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Great performances by Tiffany Shepis and Brad Douriff keeps you on your toes during this hilarious adventure with many good laughs and a refreshing feel to the entire genre. Jeremy Maxwell keeps the pace with his great sense of humor, and even the music isn't as annoying as I had expected it to be.

All in all, I recommend this to anyone who loves movies like Evil Dead, Dead/Alive, or Demon Wind.
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