Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spring 08 recap....


So what have I been up to lately? I have been keeping quite busy as a matter of fact. Here are some highlights and opinions on what I have been up to:

Iron Man: What a way to start the summer movie season! Iron Man is up there with Batman Begins and Spider-Man and X-Men for the best movie adaptation from a comic book. Top 3 over X-Men actually. RBJr did an amazing job of being himself, which brought, albeit a different take, on the Tony Stark character to life. No alcoholism, and now everyone knows (or thinks) he is Iron Man, so there are some differences.
The fan service stuff was fantastic too! Rhodey commenting "next time" on the silver/grey armor, the Ten Rings terrorist syndicate, the whole SHIELD thing (which I figured out literally as the dude was about to say it) and of course, the after credits "Avenger Initiative" scene was just pure unadulterated fan service.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Another good movie from some of the Apatow crew. Jason Segel did an excellent job for his first script, and finding out how it so closely reflected many of his real life failures and experiences made it better. It takes real balls to put yourself out there like that, but anyone who has seen the movie could tell you that Segel has no trouble there. My favorite line? The "and now I have the freshest cereal" line still has me giggling, mainly for it's delivery. Also, Maria Thayer in a major motion picture, you go girl! I would actually go so the Dracula puppet musical by the way.

Walk Hard- The Dewey Cox Story: This movie should have been called LAUGH HARD! HA! Seriously, go watch this movie. When it came out in theaters (pronounced thee-ay-tears) it got passed over quickly, and no one wanted to see it with me. Finally on DVD, I got to see it. I love movies that don't even try to take themselves seriously and consistently break the fourth wall. Most parody movies as of late (meaning anything since Scary Movie) have been utter crap, but this one aced it. Oh, and without a doubt, Jenna Fischer is one of the most funny and beautiful women ever. Go rent it already, it costs a freakin dollar at Red Box!

House: Can House do any wrong? No, I think not! Am I biased? Well, yeah, duh. The final two episodes of the season, especially the first of the two, House's Head, were excellent as usual. House's Head really broke free from the mold, and created a very trippy and fun ride, and the finale was genuinely moving and well played. It was nice to let the show be about the characters more than the medicine, just like in the first 2 seasons. Wilson has been House's single support system since their college days, and having that not only taken away, but having House be the reason, is very interesting storytelling. And props to the writers for the fan service "you can't always get what you want" line. It brought a big smile to my face.

GTA4: What can I say that hasn't already been said? Grand Theft Auto 4 is a lot of fun, and has an amazingly detailed and living world. Am I having fun though? Well, yes and no. I am at the age now where I do not always have 3+ hours to sit and play a game, and GTA4 requires quite a bit of dedication. I am about 8 hours in, and am finally at the point where I can start doing single missions without having to worry that my phone will be ringing every 2 seconds with another mission that I am practically forced to take, or penalized for ignoring.
Oh, and for those of you who don't know, you can turn off the phone and the story mode! There is an option in the phone that lets you turn off messages and calls so you can freely roam around and have wacky car jacky fun. The manual and even in game tutorials (which I am still going through... there is a LOT to learn) never mention this feature, making it extremely difficult to pop in for a quick 30 minute session. Now that I have Little Jacob as a friend, have email access and can take cab fares, I can play for 45 minutes before going to bed instead of worrying about getting stuck in the game an hour passed the time I want to get into bed.
Are there issues other than that? Sure. Like the cops will stop chasing you when a mission ends, taking away from the realism and suspense. Trees are made of solid steel, which lamp posts and poles are made of ply wood. And I suck at free aiming when using weapons, the characters are usually too small on screen to make this useful.
But again, am I having fun? For the most part, definitely. I love that I now know the city and its streets well enough that I actually know where I am (at least on the main island) and the story is really done quite well. I still have a very long way to go, but so far, now that I have learned how the game works, I am looking forward to getting to the end of this one.

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