Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) review, and a bonus movie.

The First International Mission: Impossible - Fallout Poster!
Seriously, can’t Americans get off their asses and make posters that are a bit more than just character’s upper-bodies and letters and numbers?  Just take a single fucking screenshot for a critical moment in the film!

Rated: 3.5 / 5

This franchise.  1st film should be a case study for how a director can take a mediocre script and turn it into a solid action/thriller.  2nd film is, eh, I don’t remember it entirely, it was ridiculous (though it did utilize the who face-mask thing that’s been used in a good amount of the films nowadays).  3rd film gave the franchise the bump it needed.  4th film finally made it solid.  5th film kept up the momentum.  And this film, Jesus.  It somehow tops the stuntwork in the previous entries (well, that opening airplane sequence from the last film still rivals the stuff found in this film).  That shouldn’t be possible, especially with Tom Cruise, who somehow defies his age restrictions and still moves around like a guy in his 30s.

And honestly, that’s the main draw for me in regards to why this film works.  The stuntwork, the choreography, the camera successfully capturing it all without resorting to unbearable shakey-cam, and not relying so much on green screen.  There’s plenty of sequences shot on location, and there’s a few different locations used to great effect.  Driving and running around France, and a helicopter ride through New Zealand.  It’s refreshing to see a film this grounded and making this much of an effort.

Now, that being said, this film didn’t do the one thing I thought it would do, that the trailers implied it would do, that the film title indicated it would do, and that the film’s theme indicated it would do.  The whole point of “fallout” is that there are consequences to Ethan Hunt’s actions.  How he’s willing to compromise the mission to save his friends, though with the intent of improvising on the spot to find a way to still complete the mission.  How those compromises will eventually have long-reaching effects he can’t control, which will eventually cause him to lose something he values.  Whether he loses a friend or loved one, or if he loses a mission.  This film cheats on that and decides at the end, “Nah, we want to keep this light-hearted and fun in the end.  You’re all here more for a popcorn flick rather than an emotional gut-punch, right?”  You can’t just fucking tease us like that goddamnit!  That makes the title a fucking lie!  Same thing with the theme.  And you can’t just brush that aside with some dialogue conversation like this:

“I feel bad.  If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have been put in this position.  I put your life in danger.”

“But you are here for me now, and you saved me, and everyone else.”

This isn’t in the movie by the way.  A trailer exclusive.

So that makes me not want to like the film as much as a do.  But I’m a sucker for action and stuntwork like this.  Still, the film could’ve been better if it actually let the title carry some weight.

Metaphor for the several twists and turns and ulterior motives.  Never really had that much of a payoff in the end.

And, honestly, that’s all I have to say about the movie.  But this blog post, it’s too short.  I need to put in something else.  Bonus movie time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 movie

Rated: 3.5 / 5

What the hell? Been Kingsley is in this?

What the shit? Anthony Hopkins is in this?

What the fuck? They share a scene together?

The movie had better live up to the standards those 2 just set.

Oh yeah, and Felicity Jones (the chick from Rogue One) is also in this. I don’t care if her acting is mediocre, she’s smoking hot and I’ll watch anything she’s in.

 




 

So the first third of the film is typical romantic interest to build up stakes for the action that comes later. And it’s not exactly done that well either. Not much chemistry, and neither actor/actress has the acting chops to make the intimate moments work.

“Well it’s kind of romantic.”

Then comes the last two-thirds when this movie turns into Grand Theft Auto. I shit you not. Assuming you’ve played just one of those games since San Andreas, picture one of those missions where you have to steal some drugs or money, and make it to a safe zone, but it doesn’t go anywhere near as smooth as you would like, because gangsters and drug dealers keep chasing you down and fucking up your vehicles, and eventually the police take notice and the star wanted level climbs from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 (but not to 5, because at that point it wouldn’t be realistic; you know, like this movie), and your forced to keep hijacking one car after another to try and get away hoping you don’t get wasted, but at the same time you start getting into it and start wondering how much more damage can you and those around you cause, and how insane is it really going to get?

Yeah, that’s what the last 2/3rds of this movie is like. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t in the same league as those Raid film’s (or even the Mission Impossible: Fallout film, even if the rating indicates otherwise), but damn if I didn’t have a fun time watching this movie!  I watched this film just on a whim not expecting much.  The first 1/3rd makes seem like it’s not going to amount to much.  But it’s just saving everything for the last 2/3rds which is nothing but non-stop action throughout.

The movie almost gets this insane.

If you want to see an honest-to-God videogame adaptation that doesn’t try to be a videogame adaptation yet does a better job at being a Grand Theft Auto movie than most films do at being an adaptation of any other videogame, give this a spin.  Don’t expect a masterpiece or anything, it’s basically something to watch when you’re expecting C-grade quality, but end up getting B+ quality.  No masterpiece, but still quite entertaining.

No children were harmed in the making of this movie.  In the making of this review on the other hand…

Plus it has Ben Kingsley hamming up the role as much as possible, and he’s the most entertaining character in the entire movie.  He has more charisma than the 2 lead protagonists and Anthony Hopkins combined (though to be fair, the lead protagonists hardly have any, so…).

 

PS: This fucking movie pulled the mother of all homo-erotic cockteases on me though, which is bullshit. There’s this scene where our protagonist gets into a car dazed and exhausted and worn out and waiting for another adrenaline rush to get him going again. Meanwhile, Been Kingsley brushes off a bullet wound and gets up, presumably towards the protagonist. And our protagonist goes into a dream-state, and imagines the door opening and his girlfriend getting into the car and making out with him. Now, if this movie had a solid pair of balls, and firm buns you could bounce a quarter off of, and a solid pair of tits than anyone of any sex would want to motorboat, they would’ve shown Been Kingsley making out with the protagonist. Any other faults this movie had would’ve been forgiven, and I would’ve given an initial rating of 5 stars just on principal.

 

Ghostbusters (2016) review

Rated: 1/5

NOTE: This is an older review I made a while back that I just never bothered to post on this website until now. Just in case some of the references seem dated.

Review (aka Bitching and Moaning)

I was ready to write a scathing review of this movie, a scathing review full of energetic negativity. I thought I would feel energized for doing so, like all those other times I took out my frustrations on past films that I severely disliked. I even had a nice intro in mind prior to seeing this movie, something along the lines of, “Fuck me sideways with a cracker jack box, this was bad!”

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Obduction review

Rated: 4/5

I helped fund the kickstarter campaign, and I’m late to the party in reviewing it. I wanted to make a gameplay video first, showing my runthrough, but apparently it’s never that simple. I used the Nvidia Geforce Experience Shadowplay Recorder. It tends to split the clips up into 15-20 minute increments, which didn’t seem like much of a problem at first, until I realized that combining clips isn’t as easy as you would think from a memory standpoint. Plus the goddamn Shadowplay starts glitching out if you try recording for longer than 1 hour straight, which I found out after my initial record playthrough, where I played through the entire game in a little over 3 hours (only on your second playthrough will it likely be that short, your first playthrough will likely more than double that). More than 2/3rds of that first recording attempt was useless. So I lost the will to try it again for a few months until recently, where I tried again, with the knowledge in mind. Played it, beat it again, recorded it all, now I’m procrastinating with the gameplay footage upload onto youtube.

Anyway, Obduction is an exploration adventure game, created by those who made the famous point-and-click adventure game Myst. Now, while that game is arguably the most famous point-and-click adventure game ever made, it’s not the best. Some of the puzzles in that game are just fucking ridiculous, especially that part where you have to painfully drag yourself through the underground train area. Fuck me, even if you knew how to get through that part it takes forever to get it done.

It’s the sequel to Myst, Riven, that is the true masterpiece among all point and click adventure games, in my opinion. That game is absolutely fantastic, and the puzzles are much more meaningful and logical. There may have been one or two which were a bit too difficult, but it’s leaps and bounds better than Myst, and what I consider to be the highest standard of games in that genre.

So, over a decade later, the creators of those games went indie, kickstarted a campaign for Obduction which will be an exploration game like Myst and Riven, only without the static screens and the point and click element (unless you decide to use that version of the game as opposed to real time first person movement). I backed it, and received my copy upon its release.

So, how is it? Did it live up to expectations? Kind of.

It has some beautiful visuals with beautiful colors. But best of all, all the puzzles are logical and don’t require a stretch to figure out. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll be doing some thinking and exploration, but it’s definitely possible to beat this game without the use of a strategy guide, or looking up youtube videos to see how others who are smarter than you managed to beat the game. For the record, I’m one of those dumbasses who ended up looking at online help once or twice to get past an area. Twice because when I figured out that you needed to know how to write 222 in an alien language, I knew where to go to get the answer, but I wasn’t capable of getting there from my position in the game, which was fucking bullshit, so I looked up a video online so I didn’t have to start a new game just to get back to that point to figure out how to do it. Since then though, there’ve been some game updates which I believe solve that issue, giving you a path to the outside so you can get to that area if you didn’t figure it out at an earlier time. So some patches improve the game on more than just the graphics and glitches.

Oh, right, you may be wondering what the story is. A seed that shoots across the sky and blows blue sparkles out its ass comes to you and transports you into another world where you have to figure out what the hell just happened and what the hell is going on. Eventually you’ll find out that there are multiple worlds to explore which are all linked together somehow. That’s all I’m going to say. You want to know more? Play the game, or watch a video of someone else playing the game.

Huh, I guess I don’t have much else to say about it if I don’t go too much into the story. I will say that it is refreshing to have live action actors mixed in with the CG graphics. I miss that about some of the older games. Just because they have the tech to replicate real life people in great detail and put them into games doesn’t mean they shouldn’t ignore the method of actually putting the actors themselves into the game. I mean, seriously, wouldn’t that at least save on the budget to some extent? Am I the only one who actually likes the charm of games doing that?

Music is used sparingly, and it’s good for what it is, you just won’t be remembering any of the tunes in the game. The intro to Myst was more memorable music-wise than anything in this game. Come to think of it, I don’t remember if the music in Riven was all that memorable either (I guess that answers that).

And, uh, that’s all.

This wasn’t in the game.  False advertising alert!

Hacksaw Ridge, Arrival, double feature review.

I’ve been drained of energy lately. The election has me all depressed. It’s not who won that has me depressed, it’s seeing all the reactions to who won that’s got me depressed. Every single goddamn talk show is spewing bitchiness, bitterness, and hatred over the winner. People are rioting in the streets. Not that many are acting like reasonable adults. That has me down more than anything else, and it’s stupid. So nothing like a couple films that actually turned out pretty decent to cheer me up and give me something else to talk about. I didn’t have it in me to write enough about each film to make a satisfying blog entry (satisfying by my standards, it’s difficult to pleasure myself), so I’m going for a double decker sandwich.

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Team America, and a rant about the post-election.

Rated: 4/5

“See, there’s three kinds of people: dicks, pussies, and assholes. Pussies think everyone can get along, and dicks just want to fuck all the time without thinking it through. But then you got your assholes, Chuck. And all the assholes want us to shit all over everything! So, pussies may get mad at dicks once in a while, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes, Chuck. And if they didn’t fuck the assholes, you know what you’d get? You’d get your dick and your pussy all covered in shit!”

Hooray, Trump won!

Yeah, this is one of those reviews made for this historic time period to intentionally say I am glad Trump won. I’m not glad he won because I think all of his policies will be great (though I do believe some of them could turn out to be good), but I am glad he beat that corrupt-as-fuck hypocrite Hillary Clinton.  But this review is also made because I am fucking sick and tired of seeing people bitch about Trump, before and after the election.  And all these goddamn protests and threats.

For all the women out that who are saying, “We needed a woman president to show how far women have come in this nation,” fuck you. You don’t need a woman president. You need a GOOD woman president. Hillary would’ve been a terrible woman president and would’ve been a terrible representation of women . And for all the men who are saying, “We don’t need a woman running this country,” fuck you too. Trump isn’t much better in the men’s department. If a female candidate is better than the male candidates, I would vote for them, and you thick-headed numbskull ass-hats should fucking do the same. Because it doesn’t matter if the fuckface candidate is a man or a woman, they just need to be better suited for the position than the other candidate.

And people like Van Jones, who say, “This was a white-lash. This was a white-lash against a changing country. It was a white-lash against a black president in part, and that’s the part where the pain comes.” Fuck you. Statements like that not only falsely suggest that Hillary would’ve helped black communities any more than she fucking did in the past, or more than any other presidential candidate like her has, but it implies that Trump would manage it worse with no good reason to back that up. Besides, there are many in the black community who are sick of the bullshit that’s been going on to make their lives suck (Ferguson and such), just as there are those who seem to be just fucking dandy about the whole thing. Just because some of you are Liberal and only have Liberal opinions that you’re entitled to doesn’t mean others aren’t fucking Conservative and have their own fucking Conservative views. And threatening those who have a view different from yours that you don’t fucking like sure as hell isn’t going to heal the divide.

And fuck black lives matter. ALL LIVES MATTER! Black, white, brown, red, whatever fucking color you identify yourself with, you’re a all fucking human being and every one of you fucking matter! Just because some of you had it rough for most of your life doesn’t mean making someone else who’s had it good and making their life rough is going to make things any better. Those who have it good should be helping those who have it bad so they can also have it good. And that can be done without making them fucking suffer for it.

The moment people agree that people like that should go and fuck themselves and become more thoughtful rational-minded people who believe that everyone should be fair and thoughtful to everyone else, and admit that every politician and every corporate asshole are pieces of shit no matter how much you may favor one over the other, that is when the healing of the divide can begin. It can also begin when we can admit that white people also like rap, black people also like mayonnaise, politicians normally don’t keep their word no matter which side of the spectrum they swing, and not every illegal immigrant comes here with bad intentions (some want to actually work and live here and get legalized and eat Mexican food in America rather than in Mexico) anymore than every illegal immigrant comes here with good intentions (some want to do bad things like watching Crash and saying it’s a good movie). It would also help to agree that both Republicans and Democrats are full of shit a lot of the time. Might also help heal the divide if we admit that Star Wars VII wasn’t a good movie.

This whole fucking divide spawned from a desire for entitlements, that some people believe they are owed something, that because some pansy-ass motherfuckers believe that because they find something offensive means that no one should be able to fucking see it as opposed to just dealing with it. I don’t like seeing naked old ladies with their tits drooping down to their wrinkly old vaginas anymore than I like seeing naked old men with their balls drooping down to their feet, but I’m not going to say those images can be banned. Why? Because I’m fucking mature enough to fucking understand that I don’t have to fucking pay attention to it and fucking look the other way to something else. I’m nowhere near the most mature person in the world and I at least know that others should be at least as mature is that. There are things in the world you may not like, but there are other things in the world that most people, if not everyone, doesn’t like.

This national divide didn’t start with Trump and Hillary, it existed (and grew) before either of them made a bid for presidency. This national healing everyone wants doesn’t start by lying to yourselves about how things really are and by believing you should be intolerant to anything that offends you. It begins when you grow the fuck up, know that there are some things in life you have to put up with that you can easily live with, and move the fuck on. I’m not sure when this politically correct attitude of millennials became to big that they felt they don’t have to grow up, but I do know that’s one of the root causes of this divide.

Case in point, if someone posted a negative review for a movie like Scream, a movie that most people like, but someone didn’t like the negative review of it and thought it should be taken down or edited just because they find it offensive and doesn’t conform to their views for no good reason, how should people respond to someone like that? I’ll tell you how they should respond, they should tell them to kiss their ass, and fuck off, and go crawl back into whatever gutter they came from, because reviewers are entitled to their fucking opinions and people are allowed to fucking enjoy them if they agree with them! Go off and make your own goddamn review that other people will like so you can satisfy your own confirmation bias. You don’t get the right to censor something just because you don’t fucking like it.

If there’s a misunderstanding somewhere when it comes to what someone thinks, in that they don’t have their facts straight, be a decent fucking person and try to show them the facts as clearly as you can. The truth can hurt, but lies are going to hurt a hell of a lot more if they’re left to fester. So do yourselves and humanity a favor, don’t lie to yourself about how things really are, and how things really were.

And for those of you who believe Trump will be a worse president than Hillary no matter what regardless of all that’s been said about her and him, do what we’ve done for all other presidents who’ve been elected in the past that we didn’t like. Give him a fucking chance. If he fucks up and is as bad as you think he is, it shouldn’t be that difficult to impeach the cocksucker. It would certainly be easier to do that than to impeach that cunt Hillary if she fucked up. And I honestly don’t know how it is that many of you have been so convinced, have been so certain, that Trump really is THAT much worse than Hillary. I don’t even know how you can say he’s going to be the worst president we’ve ever had compared to everyone else in the past century. I really don’t.

Yeah, I’ve been keeping a lot of that pent up inside me for a while now.

“Maybe feelings are feelings because we can’t control them.”

Oh, right, there’s a movie I wanted to watch and review. Despite this being a small scale using only puppets and not trying to disguise how cheap it is at all, it’s pretty well made and makes great use of explosions, violence, editing, and choreography. I mean, it may have a bit of a cheap look to it, but it’s intentional. They don’t try to hide the fact that these are puppets on strings, they don’t even try to hide the fact that many of the characters are voiced by the same 2 guys. This movie knows exactly what it is. A foul mouthed satire of America’s war on terror which attacks everyone on all sides and doesn’t give a fuck. Even so, some of these scenes are actually quite well-made, especially that assault in France intro (whew, speaking of things that could make people uncomfortable nowadays).

I have a bit of a personal story with this movie. When I was much younger, I made a vow to never watch R-rated movies, because I was convinced that they all contain offensive material that I should never be exposed to. I later came to regret that decision. In hindsight, that vow was made for stupid bullshit reasons. But the main reason I regret making that decision is because I missed out on a lot of fun stuff my friends and family did. My friends went off to watch this movie and others like A Clockwork Orange, and they enjoyed themselves, and I chose not to share in that. And this movie, my sister and dad went to see it with a large crowd, and they laughed their asses off at it, and I missed out on the whole thing, by choice. Years later when I decided to cast that fucking vow off to the side, I got to see the movie with some other friends of mine. Know what happened? We all laughed our asses off and had a great time watching it. From that point on, I realized that it’s stupid to restrict yourself like that. It made me lose out on some great experiences that I can never take part in, and I’m never making that same mistake again.

“So lick my butt and suck on my balls!”

I’d imagine this movie would be uncomfortable for people to watch nowadays especially after the election. Because this president is so much more bloodthirsty than any other we’ve ever had (sarcasm). But you know, of all the things that seem to have changed that would make me view this movie differently, make me laugh at it less or make me laugh at it more, that would even be considered a satire, it wasn’t the stereotypical Middle Eastern portrayals (which is clearly done for parody purposes, just in case some of you forget what a satire is and forget that making fun of stereotypes is a joke and is ok to laugh at), or that America is gun-ho about blowing shit up, or their portrayal of Italians, or Koreans, or how actors are just as hypocritical as everything else (bunch of FAGs).

“My acting is what got a thousand people killed! Jesus! It’s happening to me again!”

No, that’s not what took me by surprise for this viewing. The story about the apes beating a kid to death before they all were gassed and killed; boy does that ring some bells.

Guess that kid is going to grow up into an actor who sings about AIDS on broadway before moving on to save the world from North Korea.

For everyone who finds this movie too offensive and too unsettling and too uncomfortable to watch, that’s fine. There are some satires that people can’t take, like those who can’t take Blazing Saddles.  There’s plenty of alternative for them to watch.  For everyone else like me, we’re going to enjoy ourselves and laugh our asses off while we watch dolls fuck each other, and hope that a sequel is made that will bring more of it all.

“Now take your weapons of mass destruction and get the FUCK OUTTA HERE!”

Doom (2016) Review

Rating: 3/5

“It’s a glorified arena shooter.”

This is a review of the single player campaign only. This review does not cover the multiplayer aspect. I played through this on Ultra Violence difficulty until I beat the game (about 12 hours), and played a couple more hours on Nightmare mode.

What qualifies me to review this?  I beat the game on Hurt-Me-Plenty mode, played a bit on Nightmare difficulty, and have played and beaten Doom I and II (the old 90s games).  I’m familiar with the franchise, and have my expectations set accordingly.  So, how does this new FPS game stack up to FPS games in general, and to the older Doom games?

Well the enemies are certainly more aggressive. In the older Doom games (I’m referring to Doom I and II here) had enemies that didn’t move all that fast (you could outrun anything and everything in 90s Doom). Here, you can’t outrun everything without getting fancy with your maneuvers, and enemies can and will flank you. For instance, the Imp doesn’t just walk towards you anymore, now it runs and leaps, and sticks to the walls and shoots fireballs at you from there. The Pinkies are more fearsome than ever. They can and will outrun you, charge you like a Rhino, and gore you. Cacodemons, well, they honestly seem the same. Summoners are upgraded in a fantastic manner, though I still think they are more terrifying in Doom I and II with how they can do near-insta-kill damage to you if you stay in the open for too long. Here, it’s a matter of dodging their attacks, and filling them with lead and plasma when they appear. Barons of Hell are also great, seeing as how they can rush at you and leap at you, being able to close the distance much faster than they could in the old games, never mind that they can still absorb a lot of damage and shoot green shit at you. Oh, and most important of all, the enemies look good with their graphic update. These effects should stand the test of time more than Doom 3’s graphics.

Many would say the level design is as fantastic as ever in this edition. In fact, that’s the reason I believe the 90s Doom games hold up as well as they do, the level design. And Duke Nukem 3D. The level designs. Those are what give games that old their replay value. That and their pacing. The rate at which new enemies are introduced, the level design tricks they can pull to give the enemies a (fair) advantage over you. And the rate at which you are given new weapons, and the ammo to keep blasting with them. In this 2016 game, that rate is as good as ever, but I’m not so sure I would go that far for the overall pacing and level design. Don’t get me wrong, the levels are very well made for what they are, where hidden items are placed and how they can be accessed, the multiple paths to maneuver when dealing with enemies in each area.

But that’s the problem I have with the game. The level design is well made for what it is, but I have a problem with what it is. When it comes down to it, it’s a glorified arena shooter. It’s a well-designed arena fighter, but it’s still just an arena fighter. In this game, all you really do is move from one area to the next, until you move to an arena where enemies spawn either at your very presence, or they spawn after you fist a Gore Nest. Either way, some nice adrenaline pumping heavy metal music starts playing when the action gets going, and goes silent momentarily each time you do a melee kill, which makes it seem as if your actions fit right in with the music. The action is awesome and all, but I preferred the pacing of the older Doom games in this regard.

I’m not a big fan of arena-based games. In the 90s Doom games, and even in Doom 3, the entire level didn’t seem to be composed up multiple arena sections. The enemies are all already on the map, they don’t spawn at different intervals in different locations. You just have to go through it to wipe them all out. Natural progression. In Doom 2016, they’re not all on the map, which probably explains why the game is so efficient;y made from a coding standpoint and is capable of running smoothly across different tiers of PC systems. The action doesn’t get heavy until you’re in an arena, and by then they can focus all the action in a near-secluded zone where enemies spawn left and right out of thin air. I prefer my games where the enemies are already on the map, just waiting for you. In this 2016 one, they can spawn in any which area of the arena to surprise you, which means you will very rarely have the element of surprise.

It’s just not natural, and that is why I don’t share the same enthusiasm for this game as other reviewers seem to have. The pattern got monotonous after a while.

Walking around. Walking around. There’s some health, there’s some armor, there’s some ammo, where’s the secret? There it is! Walking around. This looks like an arena. It is. Run/jump around and kill everything that pops up for the next few minutes. They’re all dead. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the game.

While as in the 90s games, sometimes you open a door and it would be a couple monsters. Other times it would be a whole legion of them. Sometimes you didn’t know which monsters you were going to get, or how many. Sometimes you would think you’re safe, until you get a key or other weapon, and then some walls would come down and a bunch of other monsters would come out that you would have to deal with. It showcased the brilliance of the level design, and always kept the player on edge even when they were looking for secrets (secrets can come with a price if you’re not careful). 2016 version, every arena tends to spawn the same quantity and type of monsters, with the numbers getting progressively larger and more varied as the game went on. For instance, here’s how the 90s games tend to go, which allow for nifty player tricks like speed runs:

As opposed to:

But the glorified arena shooter aspect is the only thing I disliked about the game. It’s big for me, but for everyone else who likes that style and likes to test their reflexes, maneuvering, and knowledge of the environment to their advantage, this is the game for them. While the game does have health packs and no regenerating health, you can recover health in another way that is brilliant. When you get a gory kill (meleeing a monster to death), they drop a certain amount of health (the lower your current health, the more they drop), thus encouraging you to stay aggressive the entire game. This may not be the first game to utilize this idea, but I suspect it will inspire other FPS games to follow suite in the near future.

There is a plot here, but like in 90s Doom, you’re not really going to care. Hell, in Doom 3, there was more emphasis on the plot, and I still didn’t care, so they went in the right direction here. Nicely placed boss fights, especially the last one. Still plenty of gore and violence to appease any fan of the genre. And it ends on a cliffhanger, like Doom I, and like Doom 3 before its expansion was released. Seems like tradition for Doom games to come out in pairs in one fashion or another.

As for the difficulty, quite challenging on Ultra-Violence when it gets to the later stages, but your skills are really tested on Nightmare difficulty. That difficulty level is pretty damn hard.  Haven’t bothered with the easier difficulty levels.  In ultra violence, I never found the need to use “equipment” which composes of frag grenades and holograms.  In Nightmare mode, you need everything at your disposal, no screwing around, and no mistakes to be made.  Kill everything as quickly as you can, or you will be overwhelmed.  You need to kill enemies quickly in Ultra Violence too, but it’s easier since you can take a few hits, while in Nightmare a few hits can kill you.  Enemies do a lot more damage on Nightmare difficulty.  That seems to be the main thing that changes with each difficulty, the amount of damage dealt.  Everything else remains the same.

All in all, it’s a good game, but it could’ve been better if it was less of an arena-shooter.

PS: Personally, I like to think of Duke Nukem 3D being in the same universe as Doom. Duke fought a bunch of monsters and did a lot of shit on Earth, then decided to become a space marine, when hell broke loose on Mars, so he gears up to fight monsters all over again, only this time without hot babes to save, which is why he’s so pissed off and bloodthirsty this time around.

Halloween (1978) Review

Rated: 3/5

Sorry, no new releases this week (wanted to watch and review The Accountant, but circumstances kept me either occupied or at home). So I’ll review this old classic, while making a brief comparison to the Rob Zombie remake.

I wish I had you all alone. Just the two of us.

So first question. Who the hell has sex next to a lit jack-o-lantern?

This is supposed to be the first successful slasher film that got it right, and inspired every other slasher film from there on out. What about Psycho, Black Christmas, or The Town That Dreaded Sundown? Personally, I don’t really care about slasher films in general, so I’m not going to get into that, or the cliches. Because from what I know, this is a film that didn’t cater to any cliche in particular, so I think it should be analyzed independent of that.

Film starts with that classic music score (which is on par with Psycho), and a lit jack-o-lantern, with the lit pumpkin being the only source of light in a dark void. As the camera zooms in closer, soon the outer shell of the pumpkin becomes as black as the void, and soon the fire is extinguished altogether. I interpret this as the forces of evil and darkness that come out during Halloween extinguishing the flame that separates mortals and humanity from expressionless emotionless evil, representing the take-over of Michael Myers, transforming him from a normal child to The Shape, The BoogieMan, or William Shatner.

His (or Its) presence is felt from the very first frame after the opening credits end. We see things from his point of view, walking towards the Myers house. The film ends with a view of the Myers house as well. Where it begins, it ends, only to rise up and continue again on another Halloween night.

And then there’s Laurie herself. First of all, at this point, I don’t think she was considered to be related to Michael Myers in any way. Not in this film. It wasn’t until the sequels that they did that, which is a bad thing in my opinion. He targets her because she (and Bobby) visit his house early on in the movie, while he’s there, which arouses his interest. Plus she sings that above quote, expressing a desire for companionship. Way wrong place and time to be singing that tune. She represses her desire for joy and companionship (with Ben Tramer, who is never seen in this film) due to her shyness, while deep down she desires it, much like how we act like we don’t want to be scared, yet we watch horror films and dress up as monsters for that time of the year to be scared. Michael Myers decides to take her up on her offer (which wasn’t directed at him), killing off her friends and setting the house up for her to become terrified, before he has her, alone, just the two of them.

While some cite this film as the one to punish teenagers for having sex, that wasn’t the intention from what I’ve read. It’s that, unlike Laurie, her friends don’t repress their desires. They are expressed fully, whether it’s the desire to hang out with a guy, or actually sleeping with one. The Shape targets those who don’t hold back their expressions and desires first, before targeting the one who does repress them last. There are many ways to interpret that.

I admired how the film continually showcased his appearance and stalking throughout the runtime, whether it be a glimpse in the distance, or a lingering in the shadows. Clear inspiration for Slender Man in my opinion. How you see him one instant, then in the next instant he’s gone, as if he can appear anywhere at anytime. Hence the sound of his breathing during the closing montage. He is not human, he is an It. It is everywhere. It is an evilness that surpasses the physical, which may take over another body of another human, young or old, innocent or not. Not knowing the unknown is what makes it terrifying. Having viewers speculate is a good thing in this case.

That being said, it got a bit tedious for me at times. It can only go for so long, seeing him watching others, either from an over-the-shoulder perspective, or off in the distance from a protagonist’s perspective, before it loses some of its tension. That could arguably be the intent, the question of whether It will act, so that the viewer can let their guard down before it inevitably happens. I just think it’s too much of a good thing, padding out the runtime. That’s the risk when making the subject matter abstract to the point where backstories for the characters are not explored, which has pros and cons, one con being monotony.

In any case, the film is still solid enough, and it’s simplicity is what makes it a classic. Simple but effective in both plot, music, and camerawork (surprising amount of long takes, which help elevate the tension).

 

And now, a note on the Rob Zombie remake.

And watching this again after so many years (yeah, it’s been a few Halloweens since I’ve seen this), it makes me realize why this film is so appreciated and held to such high standards, and why fans of it shit all over the sequels, especially the Rob Zombie remake. Because that remake eliminates the abstract nature of horror, giving backstories to everyone and trying to humanize Michael Myers, which takes away from the terror and evil and emotionless non-sympathy It has. That film turns the It (The Shape) into a He. And that is why it fails (that and it’s shitty ending). That being said, at least it got actors of the right age for its take on the story, while this film also suffers from having characters who are high schoolers played by people who should be college seniors, if not older.

“Was it the Boogeyman?”
“As a matter of fact, it was.”
Cue body disappearance indicating supernatural entity and a force that is everywhere threatening the living that may continue on a future Halloween night.

vs

“Was that the Boogeyman?”
“As a matter of fact, I think it was.”
*crash!* Window shatters!
“Jesus Christ!”

Alright, come on, that was funny. I laughed my ass off at that ending.

 

 

PS: John Carpenter you sly dog you. Showing that film The Thing in this movie, prior to you remaking it.