Resident Evil

When Resident Evil was first released in 1996, it started not only one of the most popular franchises in the history of gaming, but it set the stage for all the survival horror games we know and love today. The original Resident Evil is on many people’s list of best of games of all time, and the remake for the Gamecube does homage to the original Resident Evil and is a fabulous buy for Gamecube owners, regardless of whether you have played the original.

The opening sequence of this game will absolutely blow you away. The graphics are one of the best of any Gamecube game, and probably even beat the much-appraised Metroid Prime. The stunning realism, the lighting, the character models, and the voice-overs are all not only good, they’re perfect. The look and feel of this game are part of what make this such a scary game, and even if this weren’t meant to be a scary game, the incredible realism would have you wetting your pants.

You have the choice between two characters at the beginning of the game, Chris and Jill. This choice will not only affect the storyline of the game, but will also affect the difficulty of the game, the enemies you meet, and the weapons you get. Regardless of who you pick, you are dropped off in a huge, dark mansion alone. And every once in a while there is something not too friendly around the corner. The zombies in this game are simply amazing. They cannot be any cooler. The zombies will amaze when you first see them, but after a few bites on the neck, you realize they are not to be dealt with like a five year old. You must use your arsenal of weapons to destroy them as best as you can.

Even though the combat of this game is a lot of fun, most of the game will be spent exploring the mansion and solving puzzles. And, this easier said then done. There are several different areas to this mansion, including three floors, a courtyard, and a guesthouse. You must collect all the items and find out in what room to use them, and how they are used. The other aspect that makes this game challenging (and realist) is you can only carry a limited number of items, you have limited ammo, and you can save a limited number of times. This challenge not only makes the game funner, but it adds to the replay value.

My only complaint gameplay wise is the controls. Its not that the controls are really bad, they’re just hard to get used to, because they are very different than the average game out there. Pushing front and back on the control stick moves the character in the proper direction, but pushing left and right on the control stick rotates the character to the left or right, sometime making movement slow. The C Stick can be used to do a quick 180 degree turn, but sometimes it still takes a while to go where you want to.

The graphics, like I already said, are spectacular. You simply have to see it once to know that this game not only has one of the best graphics of any Gamecube game, this game has one of the best graphics this gen. The sound, while impressive, is not perfect. The voice-overs are great, but there if often a lack of music, that can make exploring the mansion a little dull. Usually when you encounter a zombie (or are about to), some scary, fast paced music will switch on. But if you’re just walking around, there is often no music on.

This game is long enough to play through with just one character, but when you add there are two characters, each with multiple storylines and difficulties, the replay value of this game goes up quite a bit. Especially, if you have not played the original Resident Evil, you may have the desire to play through this game more than once. Even if you have, there are a number of differences between the remake and the original, so you may still find a few new surprises around the corner…

Overall, this game rocks. So, if you have a Gamecube, then buy it. And if you don’t have a Gamecube, get one. This is just a great remake and a great game, with some really strong aspects that make deserving of the title “must have Gamecube game.”

Advertisements

Van Helsing

Van Helsing is the worst movie of the summer!

No…

Van Helsing is the best monster movie ever!

No…

So Van Helsing is not a horror movie?

Well sort of. Van Helsing is a movie in which you must either like video games or just outrageous movie plots/actions to enjoy. The movie is just so crazy. The action just never dies down. If you blink you’ve probably missed something. This movie is 2 hours and 25 minutes so you’d think that the movie would lose it’s momentum at some point, but it never really does. The visuals in this movie are just spectacular especially the final fight scene. Easily the best sequence is that in the beginning with Frankenstein and his monster. The movie essentially makes up it’s own history for most of these characters to make the storyline work with itself, which it actually accomplishes. For a movie so jammed packed with different kinds of monsters it all fits together and it works. Definitely the coolest monster in the movie was Dracula and his three wives as they completely reinvented the look of a vampire. The only bad part in this movie was just the very end, which was very cheesy, but it’s nothing to bad (I won’t ruin it for you). Everyone in this movie was decent at acting. There was definitely a lot of comedy in this movie, something that the director is known for through his other movies like The Mummy. The score is won’t be one that you remember in 20 years compared to other adventure flicks such as Indiana Jones, but it does well for the movie.

Overall I recommend this film to anyone that likes monster movies and definitely anyone that can handle a movie based around so many CGI objects. If you’re expecting to be scared or spooked there is no reason to see this movie. It is a movie that is for pure fun and excitement.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Most of us all know who Indiana Jones is, but if you don’t already know he is simply put, an archeologist. He goes on these crazy adventures traveling from country to country in seek of some artifact. The thing about this movie is that it is simply a classic, but it really does not stand the test of time. While it did teach us that being an archeologist is a fun and exhilarating job (which it’s not), it just seems like it’s missing something.

It’s jokes and action sequences are still good, overall it is just an unnecessary longer movie than it needs to be. This film is supposed to be a serial like movie, but it feels more like a soap opera. There is an action scene here and there and then you go into these long talks (especially at the beginning of the movie). Probably the best action scene is either the one in the market square at the beginning of the film or the one where Indiana is fighting in a fistfight against a huge Nazi in an airplane field, towards the latter-middle part of the film. If the movie just had more scenes like this then it would have gotten a higher rating, but you cannot change the past (cough cough Indiana Jones IV!).

Personally I think it would have been a better film if Indiana Jones had a side-kick or something. Now while you could say Marion Ravenwood, Dr. Marcus Brody, or Sallah was a side-kick to Indiana, it almost seemed like there was no chemistry there. You just did not get a good feel for whom these characters really are.

The music in this movie is superb! It is just fits the movie so perfectly! Whether it be the comical fight scenes or the serious ones the music just really helps the movie so much.

The acting in this movie is alright except for Marion Ravenwood played by actress Karen Allen. She just brings any scene that she is in down in quality. It could just be that her character seems flat, but she definitely did not help make it any better. Marion just seems like she is there just because they needed a damsel for which Indy to save.

Well I guess with all these things to fix that they will definitely be fixed right the sequel…right?

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the most controversial movie in the Indiana Jones series for many reasons. First, you have your winy female, annoying kids that you just want to beat up, and is the entire story seems to dark to be an Indiana Jones story. For the most part this movie takes place in India and we see Indiana Jones fight against this cult, who uses child labor and does all other sorts of in-humane things. For the most part you do not need to have even seen Raiders of the Lost Ark as these two stories are only related by its main character, Indiana Jones, played by actor Harrison Ford.

Off the bat this movie probably stars some of the most annoying characters ever. Whether it be Short Round, played by actor Ke Quan or Wilhelmina ‘Willie’, played by actress Kate Capshaw you’ll definitely find someone who annoys you in this film (if not multiple people). Whether it be for reasons of the characters just being ditsy or just plain stupid (i.e. leaving everything for Indiana to do). It is just a shame that none of the characters, except for Idiana Jones, were included in this film.

The problem with this movie is not that it is all action, but it is that the action just doesn’t really make you feel like Indiana Jones is in too much danger. Some of the scenes just seem to never end. This may have also been caused by the dull music that was composed for this movie. I love the Indiana Jones theme song music, but in this movie they just did not play it enough, whenever Jones gets into a fight of some sort.

The Indiana Jones series is supposed to be like an old serial sort of movie with tons of action, which is exactly what this movie is. But with this it’s the story that truly fails for it is very flat and dull. If they had just done more editing and eliminate some of the boring scenes then this movie would have been a pretty good action flick, but instead it just is lame. I really do not know any other way to describe this movie. This movie is a movie that for the most part you understand why they did the things that they did, but at the same time you wonder, in the back of your head, if this was the best way to do it.

Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

First off I must ask, do you even remember this movie!? Well everyone that I know sure doesn’t. Second out of all the three Indiana Jones films this movie is definitely the best.

Compared to the Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom this movie is a billion times lighter, which is actually good thing. Indiana Jones is supposed to be a movie that you have a fun time watching and The Last Crusade brings back this fun! In this movie we find Indiana Jones fighting against those damn Nazis in order to find the cup of Christ, that will give a mortal eternal life (once they drink out of it). So right off the bat this movie does two things right, the movie setting be lighter and having those damn Nazis!

What made this movie so fun was the chemistry between Indiana Jones, played by actor Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones’s father, played by actor Sean Connery, Sallah, played by actor John Rhys-Davies, and Dr. Marcus Brody, played by actor Denholm Elliott. Each of these characters is so funny; they all bring something different to the film. Unlike the first film all these characters actually get to go on the adventure with Indy. By doing this, the film shows the audience just how different all these characters are, even though they are in the same field of work. There is Indiana Jones the adventure type who seeks to find the treasure. Indiana Jones’s father who while supposedly looks for treasure seems as though he has never gone on to many trips. Next there is Indy’s friend Sallah, the most hands on type next to Indiana Jones himself. Finally there is Dr. Marcus Brody who has never gone on one of these adventures before, as he is more of the book-reader/tells Indiana Jones what he will encounter on his trip type.

One of the better things about this film compared to the 2nd film is that while Indiana Jones is slowed down by his father, just like he was slowed down by Short Round and Wilhelmina ‘Willie’ Scott, the difference is Indy’s father adds comedy with fresh conflicts to the story. It is not only Indy’s father, but the entire cast seemed like they enjoyed making this film, which is shown by how well they played their parts.

Other than that there is really not much else to say about this movie and that’s a good thing.

Elf

Overall, Elf was a decent movie. Decent storyline, decent acting, decent comedy, decent everything. But it wasn’t anything more than decent, or anything less. Probably the best holiday movie this year and a pretty good family movie that should be enjoyed by everyone. You should try to go see it if you have time, but if not, it’s really not a big deal.

Elf has a pretty creative story. Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) is a human boy who snuck into Santa’s Bag one Christmas Eve night and was taken back to the North Pole and raised as an Elf. As Buddy becomes older, he realizes that his toy-making skills just don’t compare to those of the real Elves and he must return to the human world. So, he journeys several thousand miles on foot, from the North Pole to New York City, with nothing but the clothes on his back. This is the best part of the movie: watching Buddy explore the human world as an elf.

After Buddy is done exploring New York City however, the movie begins to get a little dull. Somehow Buddy finds his birth father with only a picture and knowing that he works in the Empire State Building. However, his father is a cold, heartless, businessman who doesn’t want to take in his son. So Buddy spends the next hour trying to get the heart of his father as well as the heart of some girl dressed up as an elf at the mall.

One thing that kinda bothered me about this movie was that it sorta changed genres halfway through the movie. In the beginning, with Buddy checking out New York City, it was a comedy. But towards the end, it was more romantic/holiday corny stuff. Buddy goes from being hilarious to love bird, and it is not a good change. He follows this girl all through out the city, even into the shower. At first, she appears to have no actual point in the movie besides distracting Buddy from his ultimate goal: getting his father to like him. Of course in the end though, everything ties together. When Buddy and Santa are in dyer need of “Christmas cheer” later in the movie, this girl and even the whole town come through.

The acting is okay, besides Will Ferrell nobody else really stands out. It’s not really that hard to play Buddy’s father, the scrooge in the movie, or some quiet girl who works as en elf in the mall. So, the acting was decent overall. Nothing else really positive or negative strands out to me. Elf was just a decent movie.