Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Never Spore

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

You’ll probably never see my Spore away message set again. I finished the game several weeks ago. Finished, yes. After reaching the center of the universe, I returned to my home planet to turn in the quest and found that all my quest lines had been reset – apparently by the recent, mandatory patch.

F U EA Games. F U Maxis. Never again.

Ciaran smells like Shelly. Shelly smells like Ciaran. My nose imploded.

Death Race

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

It’s pretty much what you’d think.  I liked it as an example of grindhouse fare.  I just imagined that the specks and pops were supposed to be there and not the result of the projectionist smoking weed in the booth.  Also, if you need to pee you can do so whenever you see “character development” starting  and you won’t miss any of the action.  I give it 3 herrings.

Dear Joss

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Regarding Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, act III: [Spoiler alert]


Jukebox The Ghost at DC’s Rock and Roll Hotel

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

While the openers were just okay – with the possible exception of The Modern Skirts, I missed their set – Jukebox left the stage a smoldering heap of rocked out cinders.  Their jazz chops were at full strength last night when The Ghost played the main stage at Rock and Roll hotel in Washington, DC.  Opening with Good Day, an upbeat pop number – which, as usual, got everyone singing along – they kept the beat up with Ariel, the best song that didn’t make the album.  After getting the crowd fired up, Ben led into Victoria marking the nights first song about bursting into flames.  After the apocalyptic space opera trilogy,  Ben introduced a track from the upcoming Guilty Pleasures album (a joint effort with our area’s indy bands) covering Ace of Base’s Beautiful Life.  Sorry, AoB, Jukebox does it better.  Tommy performed his split second acoustic/electric conversion during the banding of My Heart’s the Same and Lighting Myself on Fire in the second half.   The song I don’t know and Hold it In both appeared in the encore.

Notably missing was Static to the Heart, one of the songs that usually gets the audience hopping.  Tommy sang Miss Templeton’s 7000th Dream in the first half, but instead of leading into Static, he and Ben played a long jazz outro.  I’ll tell you, the jazz work is always impressive, but I missed watching them riff on Static.

You can hear these amazing guys – including their drummer, Jesse – on their website and around the country live as they tour with The Modern Skirts.

Bioshock & Resident Evil: Extinction

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

Resident Evil is just okay. Milla Jovovich is as hot as we have come to expect. She looks much cooler than she did in Ultraviolet.

Bioshock, on the other hand, just blew my mind. I thought I was finishing the game. I thought they’d just fooled me with an interesting plot twist at the end. I thought they’d just ripped off Metroid for their ending, but that was okay because it had just been awesome for 15+ hours. And then the second act began. All that stuff was just the first act! Simple decisions I’ve been making just had a huge impact on the way I’ll play the rest of the game. Holy crap I’m going to have to play at least two more times! I’m here to validate all the hype I’ve read on the tubes. Bioshock is an amazing story told as a game. I give it some gold stars and a smiley face.

Ownership (Gun)

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

I am the proud owner of a Springfield Armory XD-40 semi-auto pistol. Not the Sigarms P229 I’ve been thinking about, but an excellent weapon nonetheless. I fell for it at the Nation’s Gun Show this weekend at the Dulles Expo Center. Keith pointed it out as an innovative trigger system on an American weapon (assembled in Croatia) with a warranty comparable to Sig’s. So I bought it. My decision for forego the P229 was aided by the fact that the specific model of the Sig that I wanted is hard to find and expensive to maintain, and by the light, smooth trigger pull of the XD.

I’m off to practice field stripping my gun blindfolded.

Joost Invites

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

Dear friends,

I have invites to share for the Joost internet TV beta. Leave you email address in the comments if you’d like one.

It’s a neat thing. The video and sound quality are both on par with the and Fox/myspace streams. They’ll play a commercial a couple of times per half hour while you’re watching. I think if you leave the program running in your system tray it’ll pop up ads when you’re not watching TV, but no one says you have to leave the tray icon running.

Channel selection is broad, but there’s no network affiliation yet. Even so, there’s a good chunk of comedy central, adult swim, and national geographic (oh boy!). The developers say they’re in talks with the major networks, so we’ll see how that goes.

Joost linkage for more information. (For what it’s worth, I don’t think you really need an invite from me, but there is a social network aspect to this thing so who knows.)

Die Hard in Denver

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Back from another week of training in Denver, CO. That’s all the traveling I’ll do for a while.

Saw Live Free or Die Hard out there. It’s a good action flick, although they overplayed the computer hacker exposition. A note for screenplay writers: skip the expository tech speak. If the point is to make people feel incapable of understanding the technology involved, just have the hacker say they are performing deep magic. If a hacker is plugging an iPod into his PDA in order to access a satelite communications network simply have him say, “I think I can mod this stuff to make a sat-phone.” Everyone will be impressed and you won’t have said, “Oh yeah, hackers have been playing around in satcom for years.” No, we haven’t; we all know this and now we’re insulted that the Apple Guy has been. 4 of 5 pips.

Watched a bunch of flicks from Netflix last week. Beginning with Bandidas, staring Selma Hayek and Penelope Cruz. A comedy about lady bank robbers, the best part of this movie is Cruz’s trained horse. (Also, no computers.) I was advised to watch it on account of the trained horse, so I was pleased. 3 of 5.

The Maltese Falcon, Bogart. Twisted, suspenseful, breathtaking. The pinacle of Film Noir. Just go watch it. 5 of 5.

Eraserhead by David Lynch. I haven’t decided what this film is about, yet. I’m leaning toward Lynch’s fear of having kids. I should explain. Henry knocked up his girlfriend. When the maybe baby is born they are forced to wed. The E.T. baby never stops crying, especially when Henry’s new wife leaves him and he knocks up the lady next door. All the while, aborted fetuses pile up in the corners of the room. Amazing sound engineering. The story, though… I have no clue. I did like it, though. 4 of 5 pips.

After being gone for a week, my cats smell the same but they think I smell funny. I have cold nose spots all over me.

Spiderman 3

Friday, May 4th, 2007

Was probably pretty good. I can’t really say because the kids in the row behind me wouldn’t shut up. Their shit talking would have been great at a Rocky Horror Friday, but not on the opening day of a summer movie. I berated them after the film, and they laughed at me. Let us all thank Shepherd Book for reminding us of the special Hell in which they will be interred for all eternity.

Hot Fuzz

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Brilliant. Hillarious. Gory.

Easily the worst action movie plot ever devised, but played perfectly for laughs. Like Shaun of the Dead is a send up of zombie flicks, Hot Fuzz lampoons the action movie genre. The implausible plot is no more outlandish than any of the Die Hard pictures, Bad Boys, Lethal Weapon, or (gag) Point Break. But since this is a comedy, the absurdity takes even more of a back seat and lets you laugh your belly off. You should recognize a ton of movie themes (or else you should be shot). I have to mark this one up as the best use of the worst blood effects in the recent history of cinema. You know the effect of which I speak – the cheesy-looking CG sheet of blood. However, it’s also the best exploding head scene of all time. And there was a hedgehog; I don’t know why.

I rate it a must see for fans of Simon Pegg. Also, if you enjoy a really impressive cinema audio experience, don’t miss this one in the theaters. It’ll be a pretty great rental for people with an impaired sense of humor and/or hearing.