Dracil’s BlogJournal

August 29, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. me

Filed under: games, movies, Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — dracil @ 11:08 pm

I guess some people want me to blog, so I’ll write something.  It’s not like anyone really reads my Google Buzz, which usually gets reposted on Facebook anyway, and Facebook is not really suited for long posts.

So I saw this the week before my birthday as part of an early birthday celebration.  I think it’s now one of my favorite movies and I wouldn’t mind watching it again in theaters and will almost definitely buy the blu-ray when it comes out.

It’s a travesty that Vampire Suck is doing better than this.  What a sad state the world is in.

Anyway, since I became a little obsessed, I got the original comic books and the game and finished both within the week.  The comic book differs quite a bit from the movie after the third ex-boyfriend.  Some of the events also get shifted around for the movie, lines are said by different characters, and so on.  But otherwise it’s a pretty good adaption.

The video game follows the comic book for the most part, with some liberal interpretation to make the stages and bosses interesting, and also so you can play a bunch of different characters, not just Scott.

The first ex, I think all three mediums were awesome.  The second ex, I think the movie was the best.  The third ex, I think movie won out there as well.  The fourth ex, the comic book gives some more backstory and other characters, so I think the comic book wins there.  The fifth and six ex, comic book wins.  The movie’s fights for them was just dumb and boring.  The seventh ex, the movie was more fun, though it had a bit of a cliched lesson thing.  Comic book was a bit convoluted for this one, and almost deux ex machina in feeling.

Because of the additional backstory, the characters also make a bit more sense in the comic books which was just glossed over but still worked out okay in the movie.

The video game for the most part gets the same ratings as the comic book as far as plot goes, with bizarre endings, buggy crashes, 4-player co-op and a fun leveling system and a nice old-school feel that’s been missing from most modern games.

Both the movie and game had some nice music.  Obviously the comics do not have music, but it does come with lyrics, guitar tabs, and music suggestions the author used for inspiration.

December 14, 2008

The Dark Jesus

Because I’m feeling lazy. :P

June 9, 2008

Dawn of the Dead

Filed under: movies, Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — dracil @ 10:55 pm

Hmm, surprisingly, this movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it might’ve been.  Certainly had its suspenseful moments.  I see now where a few zombie games got their inspiration (specifically, No More Room in Hell)

It seems like the new zombie movies have fast zombies now.  Which is kinda unfair, so they also bumped up the survivor counts.  The problem is that these people have remarkable aim for headshotting such fast zombies.  That’s one of the things with the old zombies that worked.  They’re slow, so you can actually get headshots.  Realistically, all these people would be dead within the first 30 minutes of the film, given that most of them have probably never used a gun before.  :P

Give us back the old zombies.

June 8, 2008

A Gentlemen’s Duel

Oh man, why didn’t I see this earlier.  That was a rather unexpected plot twist.

You should check out the other stuff that Blur Studio has done as well.

June 7, 2008

Sex and the City

Filed under: movies, Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — dracil @ 12:49 am

This was agreed on with Leqi about last weekend.  She texted me and asked if I wanted to see it on Wed, but I had Dine About Town, so we set it for today.

After I got out of the station, I noticed a mini protest (Free the Cuban Five), so I whipped out my camera and started taking pictures.  One of the people actually came up to me and asked if I was a reporter.  :D  That was kinda cool, and I don’t even have a telephoto lens yet.  If only he knew I was committing a very newbie mistake at the time (forgot to check my ISO so everything was shot at ISO 1600) :P

Called Leqi who was inside already.  Was going to get Out The Door for dinner but they were closed for repairs.  We ate at Buckhorn Grill instead.  She got some salad and I got sirloin tri-tip. Wasn’t bad actually (I don’t have too high an expectation of food court food).  The meat was a bit tough though/the knives weren’t sharp enough.

We got there 15 minutes before the show started but it was pretty much packed already.  We ended up with 3rd row seats, which kinda sucked, because this was also Leqi’s first time in an American movie theater (the 8:15 show was actually sold out, or we would’ve gone for that, instead we settled for 7:15).

As expected, it was mostly women.  If there was a guy, he was almost certainly with a girl.  Though I did see at least one gay couple and a group of three guys with girls (so at least one of the guys was not attached).  Definitely a chick flick.

That said, the movie was pretty cool.  I mean, it still had the basic romantic comedy formula I’ve described before, but since there were four women, there was more variation.  It also had some funny moments, including one really funny one that was perfect in the context of the movie.  So I thought that was great.  It also helped that the audience was generally in the right mood too which made the film more enjoyable.  Given that I’ve never seen Sex and the City before, I’d say the movie was very well done, though there was at one critical part of the story that required a pretty heavy dose of suspension of disbelief.  The movie also definitely earned its R rating with exposed breasts and one penis.

As I was going home, I took advantage of the fact that I had my camera to take a picture of the rare clear sky here.  Made me really wish I had a tripod though.  Even laying the camera on my bag caused some slight movement.  Not sure if it was ’cause of movement after the shutter press (even with a 2 second timer) or the wind.  One of the better shots was actually handheld too.

May 27, 2008

3:10 to Yuma

Filed under: movies, Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — dracil @ 6:00 pm

I had originally wanted to see this when it was in the theaters. But I don’t think Westerns really appeal to my friends, and I don’t really go to the theaters by myself. :P

3:10 to Yuma is a remake of a film by the same name from 50 years ago, and as such, there are people who feel the original is better. I haven’t seen the original, but I certainly liked this remake. I liked the ending too, which appears to be a point of contention between those who liked the original and those who liked the remake. Sure, the film in general is pretty fantastical and requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief (it is part action film too). But the creators make a good point (in one of the special features) that Westerns as a genre, are pretty much already mythical. The setting didn’t really exist. Instead, it was all the cool stuff happening in that period condensed into a single point in time. I suspect pirate films in general are probably similar, drawing on various stories from different time periods and putting it all into one cool action-packed setting. I think it’s just part of period films.

So yeah, you may think it would be impossible for some of the things that happened in the film to happen in real life, like the relation between Ben Wade and Dan Evans, and you’d probably be right. But it is a fictional story after all, a story about two very different men who we learn are not quite what they claim to be.

May 19, 2008

Kamikaze Girls

Kamikaze Girls, originally called 下妻物語 (Shimotsuma Monogatari), was recommended to me by Karen.  Like a lot of Japanese films/anime/manga nowadays, its origin can be traced to a light novel.

At its core, it’s about two girls who are polar opposites from each other.  First there is Momoko, a super-independent girl who had no friends (and didn’t need any) and didn’t care what anyone thought.  She also goes around wearing Sweet Lolita dresses from the Rococo period in France.  Apparently, the store she gets her clothes from is a real store, and even featured a line of clothing designed by the author of the story.

Ichigo on the other hand, is part of an all-female biker gang,  She’s rough, smokes, spits all the time, and makes mistakes with her Japanese (to imply she’s a bad student).  And of course, she knows a lot about motorcycles.

Through a series of events, they become best friends forever.  :P

That’s pretty much the gist of the story, though of course other stuff happens, including a pretty cool ending.

The comedy is of the odder Japanese variety (if a girl wearing Lolita fashion isn’t odd enough for most Americans), so it really helps if you have an appreciation for Japanese media culture already.  Otherwise, you may find it stupid.  If you’re curious about what lolita fashion can look like, this would also be a good film to get a taste.  I also checked out the BABY,THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT store and all I have to say is, that’s one expensive hobby (most dresses cost between $150-$500).

May 17, 2008

27 Dresses

Filed under: movies, Reviews — Tags: , , , , — dracil @ 6:20 am

I think I watched this movie in the right mood, though it’s actually the same mood as when I watched Wedding Crashers.  The difference is the style of the film.

They’re both romantic comedies but the way the comedy is derived is different.  In 27 Dresses, the characters were for the most part, realistic, and so the comedy was similar to funny things you might do or say in real life with friends.  In Wedding Crashers, the characters were exaggerated  and meant to be funny caricatures, so you were generally laughing at the characters, instead of with them.  This made it harder to care about the characters in Wedding Crashers and I think that’s ultimately why I enjoyed 27 Dresses more.

That said, like other romantic comedies, it follows a pretty formulaic pattern.  Girl meets boy.  Bad Stuff happens.  Boy and girl get back together and live happily ever after.  This brings me to a tangent.  It seems like the Bad Stuff is always inextricably linked to something the guy does.  Of course, most of the time, the guy will try to stop the Bad Stuff from happening, but will always fail so the audience can go through the “aww, how sad” moment.  Despite that, it’s interesting to note how much effort the guy will spend to stop the Bad Stuff.  I think in most romantic comedies, this effort is pretty much nil, with most guys failing before they even start.  That’s why I think the guy in this film is actually rather commendable, as he did actually try to stop it a few times.  It shows real consideration, which most of the other guys tend to lack.

So yeah, I found most of the characters likable as human beings.  The girl’s a near saint going through the things she does in the film, and the guy’s just a generally all-round cool person.  Maybe it helped that the guy was also rather cynical about weddings and marriages given the stuff I’ve been reading.  Another coincidental thing that made me like the movie was that I had recently joked about how it might be cool to have a wedding theme where guys and girls wore the opposite gender’s clothes (people gave me weird/disapproving looks and grunts), and guess what, something like that was mentioned in the film. :P

I think most people generally feel that Wedding Crashers is a better film and it’s certainly more fun and entertaining.  But 27 Dresses, while based on an unrealistic concept, is more realistic in its execution, which helps the audience connect better with the characters, if only for the duration of the film and that really helps for romantic comedies.  I think it really depends on your mood which you’d enjoy more as they’re still both just romantic comedies with a wedding theme.

May 16, 2008

Sukiyaki Western: Django

If the trailer doesn’t interest you, you aren’t going to like the film. It really is a love it or hate it film. I’m more in the love it side, because I like weird, unique stuff.

As you may notice from the title, this film is a parody of spaghetti westerns. The film itself is supposedly a remake of Sergio Corbucci’s Django, but the story more closely resembles Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, which itself was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, which is based on the film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key, although the plot resembled his Red Harvest book more. Meanwhile, the setting for this film is based on the historical Genpei War. These people also references the War of the Roses (which, like the Genpei War, was divided into white and red factions) with a character even reading Shakespeare’s take on it. And from watching it, the film’s style felt a lot like the Kill Bill movies. Heck Quentin Tarantino even plays a character in the film. As you can tell, this film has a very mixed ancestry (if Japanese people speaking Engrish in a Western wasn’t obvious enough).

Speaking of the Engrish. This is one of the things you’ll either love or hate. The Engrish is intentional, because the spaghetti westerns of old were supposedly badly dubbed for whichever country it was being shown. Unfortunately, without English subtitles, it can be hard to understand what’s being said unless you’re used to Engrish and/or pay careful attention. If you can read Japanese, the Japanese subtitles certainly help. That said, if you can get past the first ten minutes, you’ll probably get used to it.

I’ve heard that the American version that’s coming out, which will most likely have the missing English subtitles, will also be cut by about 20 minutes. I already predict that they will release an “extended director’s cut” later that’s really just the full Japanese version with English subtitles. Cutting the film by 20 minutes may not be so bad, as some people did feel the film was too long and had unnecessary parts (I’m guessing probably the sheriff’s solo parts, which were a little overdone).

If you’re a fan of Miike’s films (Audition, One Missed Call, Ichi the Killer), weird Japanese films (Battle Royale, Suicide Club), Quentin Tarantino, any film in this film’s ancestry, or Westerns in general, you’ll probably like this film. Otherwise, you may want to save some money and watch it at a friend’s house instead.

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