Monday, October 27, 2008

Bangkok Dangerous: Movie Review

There are many ways to call a typical action movie. For growing up kids like me, there used to be lots of shots and lots dead bodies lying around. And that's pretty much that. So that's what Bangkok Dangerous is too. Just the problem is a little bit lesser on the bullets though.

Nicolas Cage plays as Joe, a hitman who's too lonely as it seems in this remake of the Pang Brothers same movie and same title to it. So, he gets an assignment, to kill 4 men in Thailand. And he always plays by his rule. Well, until he got to Bangkok that is. Having Kong as a messenger, his life starts to go tumbling around him, and it even includes a romantic interest in the name of Fon. The tagline "Nothing's more dangerous than a hitman with nothing to lose" is actually a huge diversion to the whole movie itself.

The movie is actually about a hitman trying to be humanistic again. Being too lonely, he gets himself a student, which he actually thinks of him as a friend, though he doesn't say it. And then there's about love, where all of a sudden a hitman decides to reignite his senses about love. So yeah, it's actually a movie about that, rather than about a hitman on the verge of killing everyone who he doesn't really care about.

The action is ok. It's not bad, but it's better than Max Payne. But then the whole movie is a little confusing. It's actually about a hitman on revenge, or about a hitman out to be human? This is a really big problem actually. And then there's how weak it is to see the sidekick of the main villain's acting. It just feels a little dissapointing. And Cage, well he does some flaws, especially when he decides to go full blown with his enemy during the waterboat scene. So much for being a stealth hitman.

So yeah, though everything is done nicely in the other, the flaws i mentioned just makes it like another typical action movie, that I sadly can't even say for the action junkie. I didn't get my fix, that's for sure. But if you're interested to see plans executedly brilliantly after The Dark Knight, this should be good. And if you want to be a hitman too, go ahead, there's some lessons to be learned.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Max Payne: Movie Review

When Max Payne came out for the PC as a game, it was brilliant. The story was top notch, the pacing was fantastic, and the action was great. Not to mention the signature jump-to-the-side-while-shooting-then-rolling mechanic that worked very well it's bullet-time feature. So, when I heard about the movie coming out, I was happy. Especially when Mark Wahlberg was to lead it. It turns out, it's another game to film adaption that did not worked well.

Max Payne is looking for the killer that killed his wife and child during a robbery. Along the way, he met dead ends. That was until, a recently gorgeous looking Olga Kurylenko was also murdered, proving there is a connection between his wife's robbery, and the recent case. Along the way, things get surreal. That is where things fell apart in this movie.

To blame Wahlberg won't be the right thing to say. Rather, the story hampered him down, which really shows in lots of scenes. The pacing was completely off, and I'm sure people wanted more of what can be seen in the movie. The nightmare scene is missing (which I believe would've scared all those 18 and above people as it did on me when I played the game) along with his signature jump. Though bullet time was there, but it wasn't used. Perhaps John Moore thought it shouldn't have to be used because lots of other movies already did.

The rest of the actors felt like hits and misses. Certain characters work really well, like Ludacris. But some feel totally off. Though Olga was short in this movie, I think she did her portrayal the best. That is even comparing to Mila Kunis' Mona Sax.

In 1 hour and 30 minutes, I was really wishing for things to go further. Why couldn't it have been 2 hours? What was the problem? There were many more scenes that can be included to make things work. But it's not here. It totally feels like an incomplete movie. A sad truth really, for gamers who would've wanted more action and more engagement to Max's grief.

In a way, I wouldn't recommend watching this movie. It didn't make me feel anywhere happy about it. It should be pulled back and redone again. It definitely could use a lot more pain and painkillers. At least homage to the gamers and the movie itself would've done justice for the whole franchise.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Flight of the Living Dead: Movie Review

Lets make a few things clear. 1, I hate horror movies. I hate getting shocked by scenes that makes my heart race to the death of me. 2, I hate how I can't anticipate what's going to happen and when it is going to happen.

Which is why this movie sucks.

I watched this at Astro 8 MONTHS AGO. That is if I remember it correctly, but I know it was way before it even got released in Malaysia. Story's simple, an aircraft is carrying a corpse carrying a virus that turns one into a zombie. Turbulence happened, and the people suffer. Simple. Like snakes in a plane, but this one has less story, less shocks, and totally is dull.

I said this movie sucks because of what viewers want. There's no shock. There's nothing creepy. And you already know what's going to happen in the end. Though the pace might be fine, everything else feels hampered. And don't get me started on those fright scenes with the actors. They feel lame enough.

Thinking of watching it? Get an Astro. Seriously. Avoid the movie at best. If you need a good place to sleep and snore in, the movie hall should provide ample comfort.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tekken 6: Arcade Review

After winning the Tekken 5 tournament, Jin Kazama takes over Mishima Corporation, and out of nowhere unleashes hell to the world. While G Corporation, seen as a savior to the world, steps in to help, lead by Kazuya Mishima. Father seems to be going at son for i'm unsure of what reasons, but the Arcade version of Tekken 6 doesn't really put any emphasis on story for each and every fighter. Rather, it's a time attack of sorts.

I had my rounds with Kazuya, and I'm impressed with the graphics. Even when it's displayed on a Sony Bravia 32 inch HDTV, which can only spin out 720p, it's still looks sharp and magnificent. The moves look fresh, and new moves are added into the foray, besides new characters.

The only problem worth noting is the excessive juggle system implemented. So, get your gloves in and prepared. You won't like it when someone flies you up in the air.

To walk you through the stages, you fight for 8 rounds, and then coming into the bonus round, which u fight against a big robot. Once the robot is done, The King Of Iron Fist, Jin Kazama presents himself and battles it out with you. After that, comes the real boss, Azazel, a sort of monster from some pyramid tomb.

I must say I enjoyed playing this. It's available at Sogo 8th Floor. You might wanna invest on Tekken 6 cards so to save your character and buy numerous costumes to put a little personal style to your character. Currently, the price for 1 game cost RM1, for 2 tokens. And the card costRM15 each. So have a blast while you still can. Jin awaits.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Yakuza 2: PS2 Review

The cover you're looking at spells Ryuuga Gotoku. In translation, it means "Like A Dragon". But in the USA, its easily called Yakuza 2, the sequel to one of the best games ever made for the PS2. And this one, definitely does not dissapoint.

After the events of the first game, Kazuma Kirryu now lives with Haruka in somewhere faraway from Kamurocho. One day while visiting Shintaro Fuma's grave with Yukio Terada, Terada gets shot from the Go-Ryu Clan. The clan is lead by Ryuji Goda, who dislike the fact that he is called the Dragon of Kansai, and wants to be the sole Dragon alive. Elsewhere, a mafia is resurging, and everything happens to pull Kazuma back into the game.

The graphics, a little bit better than the previous game. The sound and music? Still top notch as ever. The story pacing and plot? Totally outrageous and ingenious. The missions? Over abundant and well worth playing. That's the gist of the game that makes it deserve already a 9.5 score for me, but the best shining and a little bit of a silly in part, is the game play.

As a Yakuza, u beat people up. With your barehands. And it has never felt more satisfying ever since the first game came in. This version takes thing up a notch by introducing a few new items to tweak with, but with perhaps some minor frustrations.

I liked how Kazuma was slow when he was in the first game. A friend of mine (Why) stated that the slowness made him feel like he's a walking tank, and I agree. The 2nd version makes him feel speedy, like some kung fu master instead of a tough Yakuza. And in all honesty, that's the only problem i felt that i encountered which was unsatisfying to my experience.

Finishing the game unlocks hard mode, which I will visit soon for completion purposes. This game can be said as GTA, though it might feel limited as u are unable to cruise over town with a car. But the missions, the experience, the life of eating, drinking, going out with hostesses shows that there's a lot to do with Yakuza. This is definitely something we've wanted from Sega after the years of waiting for it to be converted. Now, where's my Shenmue? :D

The Score: An awesome 9.0/10.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Megaman 9: Wiiware Review

You don't wanna be in that situation, but this is what you will most probably see most of the time while gracing Megaman 9. And let me tell you, to sum up the value of the Wii Points spent on this, is truly pure bliss.

The story itself is simple too. After peace was restored, all of a sudden all robots made by Dr. Light, or Megaman's creator all went haywire. Dr. Wily accused Dr. Light of doing so, and now wants to save the world instead, that is if you help him fund his bank account. Sensing amiss, Megaman then goes to investigate, in full 8 bit glory.

Now, I did say glory, so the graphics is definitely out of the question. Besides, Capcom decided to go back to 8 bit, and released it in 360 and PS3 too. And still, it's more than worth it, in my honest opinion, to be in the Wii.

Control is very simple. You use the Classic Controller, or the Wii Remote held horizontally, which would be homage to us gamers of the 80's. You jump and shoot, and make way to the boss. Rinse and repeat. No dash, no charged shot, no fancy armor, just Megaman, and his trusted weapons, owh and a few more little goodies thrown in.

This game has a to do list for us gamers to earn bragging rights, besides posting time attack scores. That and collecting bolts in the stages allows you to buy E tanks to help fight the game further, and even unlock classic costumes. There are additional content downloadable, so make sure not to miss the Protoman content, it makes the game tougher.

Speaking of tough, this game is just about it. It's so tough that you know you'd throw the controller to the TV. But the reward of beating it, and it is Megaman classic, just makes it well more worth it for the 1000 Wii Points spent on.

Glitches of the old are definitely there. you'd see annoying enemies pop in again and again when you decide to turn back, and in fact even killing bosses without having to lift a finger. Such things do happen, but hey, it's Megaman, what's the point of fighting bosses without working out?

In all honesty, this is 1000 points well spent. In fact, the value is more than enough to compensate for the points spent. For gamers, let not the 8 bit graphics fool you. This game will take you spinning in circles until you know that beating the bosses again and again, is why you decided to take on Megaman 9. Long Live 8 Bit GRAPHICS!

The Score: A great 9.0 out of 10.