Heavy Nova

(Yeah, I’m in it)

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Outpost Kaloki X (Finished)

I actually finished this game not long after I made the post about finally buying it. I guess I should have written this up then, but I didn’t even think about it.

As I said previously, I first played this game when I was a game tester. I would fiddle around with it when I was on breaks and when there was nothing else for me to do. I loved it then. The second time I played it, I was sharing an Xbox, and when I finally got my own, the game wouldn’t transfer.

Well, this time I was finally successful in playing through the whole thing. Maybe not the whole thing, because I didn’t know about all the extra stuff that they’d added since the last time I’d gotten a chance to play. The downloadable content is crazy. There are all sorts of challenge maps to do now. I haven’t even started on those.

But the core game, the thing that I’d been aiming for, was everything I remembered. It held my attention through the entire thing, and even managed to make me angry a couple of times. There’s nothing like trying to build a space station with a specific goal in mind when you’ve got aliens bombing you and a timer ticking away to raise the ire.

I’m glad that I finally made the purchase and that I finally got to play through the game all the way. I’m also glad that I didn’t have previous save games to start from, because I would have been lost pretty quickly. I had forgotten what every button did by the time I started it all back up again.

Next up: Trying out those other maps. They seem pretty interesting.

True Grit (Book edition!)

I couldn’t wait any longer. I sped through the book I’d been reading and immediately picked up True Grit. I was a little impatient about it, because I’d meant to read it before I got the new version of the movie from Netflix, but I’d put my mind to rereading a whole series of books before I got to this one. It only took a little over a week, but still too long.

I love it. Absolutely love it.

There are times, and I believe I’ve spoken about it before, where you read a book of a movie you love and the book just ends up being nothing more than trash. Crap. I worry about that sometimes, when I’ve not gotten to or known that the book exists before I see the movie.

Maybe I should stop worrying so much about it, since it hasn’t happened in a long time.

I have to say, I devoured the book as if I were starved for words. I read it so fast, I could hardly believe it. But once I picked it up, I just couldn’t put it down again. I do believe I will try this author again.

There will be further comparisons made later. True Grit – The Trinal!

True Grit

Ah. Well. What can I say? I didn’t think that I was going to like this movie. In fact, I actually avoided seeing it when it came out. Not that it didn’t look good. It did. I won’t lie. But I was avoiding it out of protest, out of a general principal. It’s a remake, you see (some of you youngins won’t know that, but it’s the truth), and I’m kind of sick of remakes happening when they don’t need to.

To top that off, I’m a massively huge fan of John Wayne. Giant. Since I was a kid. I literally grew up watching John Wayne movies. I have seen every single one of them. I have a pretty fair collection of them, as well. I honestly harbor a deep and undying love of The Duke, and (playfully) threaten those who disparage his name or claim to not know any of his work. (Playfully, I swear it)

So I was pretty upset when I saw this had come out. Ignoring the fact that I like all the actors in it that I know. Ignoring the fact that it seemed as if it was filmed right and followed the original pretty well (it’s a book, too, you know, which I have yet to read because I just found out, but damn straight I bought it, and it’s sitting in my To-Read-Pile).

Principal.

But, I questioned another Fan and he informed me that he enjoyed it and found some things in it that he liked better than the original, though the original was hands down the better movie. So, I finally gave in and watched it.

Again: What can I say?

You can’t tell John Wayne, but I think I enjoyed myself.

I guess another thing I was worried about was that in this day and age of constant political correctness and everybody tiptoeing around about every little tiny thing, in this world where I can’t say “I love my cat” without somebody shouting YOU MEAN FELINE AMERICAN!, I thought that they would try to soften the hard blows of the film. I thought they would try to disguise some of the dirty moments. I was concerned that some of the more intense scenes would be lost to filmmakers worrying about what moviegoers would say about them.

I was most pleasantly surprised that none of it was lost. It was all there. In fact, I think a couple of things may have turned out more brutal.

I laughed. I did. I won’t lie. There were really funny moments. And I laughed. Not just a little chuckle, either. But a good, honest laugh. Happy about that, too. The original might have been seen as a Western, but it was also a comedy, and it was also dark. This one turns out to be somewhat more dark, but it still fit quite snugly into the place where it should be.

And I have to agree with my friend, I did enjoy Matt Damon as the Texan more than the original guy. Not that I didn’t like him. But Matt Damon brought a certain thing to the film that only he can bring. Should it ever occur that time travel becomes possible, I will insist that he go back and star in the original alongside The Duke. Yes.

I think that the girl in the original had a little more pluck to her, but this girl didn’t do badly at all. She had the tone and the cadence of the original film and girl, and her tenacity was spot on.

I liked it. I did. And I think I’m going to buy it so it can sit on the shelf right next to the original one. And just to prove how sick I am, I’m going to tell you this: After I’ve finished the book and I own the new version, I’m gonna watch both back to back. Take that. 4 hours of Rooster Cogburn.

Fido

Okay, so Fido is the most deranged episode of Lassie ever. Complete with a kid named Timmy and abject life lessons for us all.

Of course, I’m pretty sure that in Lassie, Timmy’s mom never fell for the dog. Which is not really the only glaring difference between Fido and Lassie, but it’s certainly pretty significant.

It really astounds me how close to Lassie this movie is. I’m sure it couldn’t be a complete accident. Maybe it started out unintentional, but it sure had intention by the end.

I also enjoyed the subtle shift in the mom that takes place for the entire length of the movie. Going from perfect little wife concerned with what’s normal and what she should do for her husband to strong, independent woman. The dad is pretty spectacular, too, though. With his ignoring of feelings.

“You have to get over that.”
“Get over what?”
“Feelings. Feeling’s not… important.”

Even as an avid zombie story lover, it’s hard to know when things are going to turn out well and when they’re going to go horribly wrong. It’s kind of an at-your-own-risk genre. You go into things not knowing if you’re going to enjoy it, but maybe that’s part of the allure.

All in all, Fido did a very good job of keeping me amused and entertained. Also – impressed. There were some fairly big names involved in the film, and everybody was well suited to their parts.

So far I’ve got to say that the zombie comedies really live up to their potential. I can’t think of one that I’ve been disappointed with.
That’s a notable record, since the zombie genre as a whole has some real doozies. Movies that are only good for their campiness, things that must be watched with friends to retain any value in a collection.

I think my favorite part of the whole movie is the smoking. We learn that zombies don’t have to eat or drink normal foods, but they can. We also learn that Fido was a smoker in life, and that his craving has carried over into his un-life.
It’s nothing huge, just a little thing that amuses me a great deal.

The Hebrew Hammer

Just in time for Christmas (Wow, talk about a backlog), I thought this would be a good one to watch. Okay, so it really had nothing to do with the holiday season at all, and everything to do with the description of the movie itself. The fact that everything was so wrong, just felt so very right. So many elements of wrongness. All come together in a celebration of joy and hilarity.

The three words that completely sum up my view of this movie? See it now. Even as I was watching it, I was texting people and telling them that they, too, should be watching it. Because it was glorious from the get go.

Adam Goldberg has been a favorite of mine for a long time. One of those sorts of actors that you don’t really think about much until you see them on screen, and there’s a silent “OH! YEAY!” that swells in your mind. He unfortunately doesn’t get much in the way of lead roles, which is a damn shame, but he always shines in whatever he does. Imagine my joy in seeing him here.

The casting is great, filled with random people showing up in really random parts and just adding to the glory of this movie. The story is absurd – and great. You’ve got this Jewish Superhero Detective (Certified Circumcised Dick), who has to save Hanukkah from Santa’s evil son (who has killed Santa in a brutal reindeer slaying). The whole thing is fucking hilarious.

One of my passionate joys in life is names. I get a kick out of names in movies, if they’re references to something else, if they’re just wonderfully absurd. And this movie is filled with many fantastic names. Not just people names either. Places, things. All of it makes me giddy. I don’t know why.

Mordechai Jefferson Carver
The Jewish Justice League
Esther Bloomenbergansteinenthal
Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahiem

Glorious. Just glorious.

“My mother is my pimp!”

Race To Witch Mountain

Escape To Witch Mountain and Return From Witch Mountain were both movies that I watched when I was a kid. So, naturally, when Race To Witch Mountain came out, I was curious. Things happened, time moved on, it left theaters. I sort of forgot about it entirely until I was searching through the new movies on Netflix and discovered it available for streaming.

I thought “Hey. Why not. I have time, it’s free, I am curious anyway…” and thus in the end, a review.

For a PG movie, this film is EXTREMELY action packed and entertaining. I didn’t know you could have such awesome car chase scenes in a movie like this. It just never even occurred to me.

Dwayne Johnson (also known as The Rock) has really come into his own in this movie making thing. I think I’ve purposefully watched only one other movie that had him in it in a starring role. I can admit to be a little bit biased against the professional wrestler thing. But, in fairness, it seems to really help him in the stunt department. He already knows how to take a hit and a fall, and doesn’t need to be trained to be that huge.

On the acting front, he’s no hack either. While some of his lines were a little bit easy to call, he delivered them well, and I still got a good laugh out of them. Alright, I can admit when I’m wrong about somebody. Okay? Get off my back.

Other nice surprises of the film – Cheech Marin randomly popping up as a mechanic, and Chris Marquette as an agent desperately in need of a gun. My radar is up for his face because of Fanboys.

The film itself, aside from being very exciting, was well written. Well acted, well filmed. All around very enjoyable.

I did, admittedly, have to look it up to see if it was supposed to be a continuation of the series, or a remake. They like to call it a re-imagining. I can see it. All of it updated for modern times. Better gadgets, modern lingo. And come on, you know I was a freak over the Stormtroopers popping up all over the place.

Though, I suppose I will keep it in my secret wishes that Seth and Sara are the children of Tia or Tony. It kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? The previous aliens have done the biological studies – which may have taken a while. They have their secret hideout. The government overruns Witch Mountain and turns it into a secret facility. It’s been 30 years, I don’t see why not.

I have to say, in the end, I would definitely watch this again. Actually, I wouldn’t mind owning this one at all. I think it could be a good addition to the collection, in all honesty.

The only thing that could have possibly made this any better is if David Duchovny made a cameo at the UFO Convention.