Game Review: Terminator: Salvation (Playstation3)

Terminator: Salvation
Genre: Action/Shooter
Rating: T for Teen
Platform: Playstation3
Platform: Evolved Games
Publisher: Warner Bros.

As I like to do with just about everything I review, I’m going to open this review up with some full disclosure. I feel it allows you, the reader, to understand more fully where I, the reviewer, am coming from.

Ah, the Terminator franchise. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it for as long as I can remember. Like pretty much everyone else, I thought the first film was amazing. The premise, the violence, the effects”¦ it all just worked. Then came T2, which pushed the effects envelope even further, turned the story on its ear by making the bad guy from the first film the good guy, and giving Hollywood a much needed badass female lead. But it had Edward Furlong and some goofy moments that kept it from being the classic I thought it could have been. T3 was such a mockery of the first 2 that I pretty much swore the franchise off. And then when McG (god it pains me to even type that as his “˜name’) came on board for Terminator: Salvation, I knew all hope was lost. In a nutshell, I think the franchise had a brilliant premise the collapses under the weight of the time-travel paradox, suffers from being a parody of itself at times, and can’t find the right fit to bring it to the glory it deserves.

All of that being said, I think The Terminator is the absolute PERFECT fit for a kick ass, thrill ride of a sci-fi game. There are so many ways it could go”¦ First Person Shooter, Role Playing, Real-Time Strategy, open sandbox style ala Grand Theft Auto.

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DVD Review: The Matrix (Blu-ray)

The Matrix
10th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition
Directed by Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Starring Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne
Warner Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 31, 2009

Forget for a moment how you felt when you watched The Matrix Reloaded and then The Matrix Revolutions. Forget that those movies may have tainted your feeling on the original. Forget the pseudo-philosophical babble and the height of the story nearly causing the entire thing to collapse on top of itself. Forget that you ever knew the term “bullet time.” Forget all of that and try to remember how you felt back in 1999 when you sat in the movie theater and first saw a stranger new sci-fi action flick called The Matrix.

To call The Matrix a revolutionary film (even for the time) would be to completely miss the point. The Matrix wasn’t anything new — it was just a new way of bringing that style of story to audiences. Anyone that was fond of comics or anime was already familiar with the storytelling style of The Matrix. What it did was introduce that style to the masses. Remember, this was before “˜geek’ was considered cool, so being into comics or anime made you more of an outcast than trendy.

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DVD Review: Bubba Ho-Tep (Collector’s Edition)

Bubba Ho-Tep
Limited Collector’s Edition
Directed by Don Coscarelli
Starring Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, Bob Ivy
MGM Home Entertainment
Available Now

Before I get started, I have a confession to make”¦ I did not grow up worshiping at the altar of Bruce Campbell. I’d heard the name, but I really had no idea who the guy was. And coming from a self-professed cinephile and pop-culture junkie, I know that this information is a big blow to my credibility”¦ In my defense, I have since seen all of the man’s films, read both of his books, and worship at the altar of Bruce Campbell regularly.

But then I read an article in my local paper about a little movie called Bubba Ho-Tep that was going to be playing at our small, alternative cinema. I really couldn’t believe what I was reading as the article discussed the plot of the film. For those who don’t know, in a nutshell the film is about two residents of an old folks home — who may or may not be Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy — who have to team up to battle an ancient Mummy that is stalking the old folks living in the home.

Brilliant, right? But wait, it gets better!

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DVD Review: Eagle Eye (Blu-ray)

Eagle Eye
Blu-ray Edition
Directed by D.J. Caruso
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thorton, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: December 27, 2008

Let’s get this out of the way upfront — Eagle Eye isn’t a bad movie. I’ve seen it listed on more than a few “Worst of 2008″ lists, and I just don’t agree with that assessment. Trust me, there’s much worse floating around out there.

What it is is a middle of the road “Big Brother” paranoia thriller with serviceable acting and a bunch of rather fun set pieces and action sequences. That’s it; nothing more, nothing less. Where it suffers is in its woefully late-to-the-ball timing. If this flick had been released 15 to 20 years ago, it would have worked a lot better.

The film hinges on the audience being pulled into the paranoid realization that we can be watched, tracked, contacted, and controlled at all time due to the alarming amount of technology we allow into our daily lives. The problem is, as a society, we already know that. Who out there under the age of 60 isn’t well aware that much of our lives are out on the internet for the taking? I’m guessing not many”¦ So without being able to build that paranoia in the audience, the “thriller” part of this thriller just doesn’t work.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here: War Games was probably the last time this notion was really going to fly.

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DVD Review: ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ (Blu-ray)

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Directed by Rob Cohen
Starring Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, Luke Ford, Michelle Yeoh
Universal Home Entertainment
Release date: December 16, 2008

I admit it – I’m a Brendan Fraser apologist. What can I say? I like the guy. He’s just so damn”¦ likable! I can watch him in pretty much anything and enjoy it. School Ties – Check. Monkeybone – Check. Blast from the Past – Check. George of the Jungle – Check. Encino Man – Guilty. So I look back on the release of The Mummy with fond memories. It was a funny, adventurous rollicking old-school action flick that remembered what made such films work — it was fun. And Fraser captured that sense of “gee whiz” fun playing Rick O’Connell. When The Mummy Returns came out it was disappointing, but not awful. It felt more like an excuse to try to set up a franchise for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson than it legitimate continuation of the series.

So it was with a healthy dose of skepticism that I popped in the Blu-ray of the newest entry into this series — The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. And all I can say is – Brendan Fraser tried. He really, really tried”¦ and I’m sure he’s sorry.

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