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Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA)

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Strippers vs Werewolves
Strippers vs Werewolves
DVD ~ Robert Englund
Price: CDN$ 19.95
20 used & new from CDN$ 11.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Keep your filthy paws off my strippers, Dec 8 2012
This review is from: Strippers vs Werewolves (DVD)
As this latest episode in the age-old battle between strippers and werewolves plays out, I think we all know who the good guys are. Things have been quiet since the explosion of the Silvadollaz strip club back in 1984, but that all changes when one dumb brute goes all hairy during a private dance with “Justice” (Adele Silva) inside Vixen’s. One silver fountain pen to the eye later, a werewolf lies dead and Vixen’s owner Jeanette knows that her girls and her club are in danger. There’s not a lot of good you can say about werewolves, but you can’t say they aren’t loyal to their pack. Once they find out how their mate died, it’s on.

When these strippers signed on to dance, they knew they would have to deal with some potentially dangerous – even hairy – guys, but I’m pretty sure that werewolves were not mentioned anywhere in their contracts. Never underestimate a stripper, though – especially Justice, as she’s even able to turn a complicating and potentially disastrous complication to the girls’ own advantage. There are a few subplots that make this movie a little more interesting (strippers are people, too, you know) and there’s a fair share of comedy sprinkled throughout, but in the end it’s exactly what the title says – Strippers vs. Werewolves.

Here’s a list of things to be aware of before watching this film. Robert Englund basically has a cameo scene and that’s it; there’s not much in the way of actual stripping; and the special effects (especially the werewolf makeup) aren’t going to win any awards. There’s some blood and gore, but this isn’t really a horror film. It’s pure camp, and you probably already know whether you’re the type of person who would enjoy it. I thought it was pretty decent.

Lord of the Rings War in the North - Amazon Exclusive - Standard Edition
Lord of the Rings War in the North - Amazon Exclusive - Standard Edition
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 7.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty for LOTR fans to enjoy here, Dec 4 2012
Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
They sing songs about Frodo and Gandalf and that lot, but guess who was protecting their flank and fighting the battles of the north during that time? A man, an elf, and a dwarf - with help from the Great Eagles. Surely that's a story that deserves telling. There's your premise for Lord of the Rings: War in the North, a rather visually appealing cinematic experience with plenty of bloodshed and limited gore, somewhat uneven difficulty, and lots and lots of talking. There's a lot of dialogue between each chapter, but you do have a couple of options. The first time through, I wanted to explore all of the dialogue I could with as many characters as possible, but you can choose to stick solely to the choices driving the story. As for the look of the game, I found it rather visually stunning at times and completely fluid throughout. Combat isn't bad either, especially the slow motion killing blows that oftentimes send heads or various limbs flying.

You take on the role of dwarf, elf, or man, and you can switch characters as you go along. I found it easiest to play the Dúnedain ranger the first time through, then I switched to the dwarf for Heroic mode. Of course, having a friend or two alongside you to team up together is probably a lot of fun, but I only played single player mode - where my comrades sometimes served as pretty weak links. You can be tearing through a whole party of goblins and trolls, but you're usually screwed if your comrades both fall in battle - having to go heal one or both of them during a fight can get annoying (and usually leads to your own death). Along with their unique fighting skills, though, different characters also introduce a few different secondary story elements, thus making the game less monotonous on replay. Either way, though, the main storyline is quite linear. Your mission begins as a means to keep Sauron's forces - under the command of an evil Black Númenórean named Agandaûr - busy in the north and away from the Fellowship as it makes its way to Mordor with the one ring. As you fight your way across the region all the way to the dark citadel of Carn Dûm, you'll encounter goblins, orcs, trolls, sorcerers, the legendary Spider-Queen, a stone-giant, and even a dragon. You'll discover and help defend a lost band of Longbeard dwarves, take in the sights of Rivendell, make friends and allies of the Great Eagles (Beleram is easily the best character in the game), and even get to meet the members of the Fellowship as well as Bilbo Baggins.

Gameplay is all about hacking and slashing, really, with swords, axes, staffs, crossbows, elfin bows and the like. Most of the time, the battles aren't that difficult, even at heroic level, but a couple of bosses and the defense of the dwarf stronghold of Nordinbad can be pretty frustrating and require multiple replays. Disappointingly, the final confrontation with Agandaûr actually makes for one of the easier boss fights. Another disappointing aspect of the game is its length. I can't really say the game is too short, but it definitely could be longer. Even a less than competitive gamer such as myself can easily play through the entire game in two or three nights. Still, you can access different story elements and up the challenge by playing the game through again at the next level with a different character. In the end, the game's not going to blow you away, but I found it pretty darn fun to play. It should definitely appeal to the vast majority of LOTR fans.

Offered by ItchyDisc
Price: CDN$ 17.49
14 used & new from CDN$ 3.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly weird and different -- but ultimately saddled with a stupid plot twist, Nov. 28 2012
This review is from: Airborne (DVD)
This movie had it going on - a weird, unpredictable storyline, just the right amount of dark comedy, and even Mark Hamill - and then it shot itself in the foot. Airborne doesn't just jump the shark - it does cartwheels in the air while jumping the shark. I still think it's a good movie, mainly because it's so different than other films in the horror thriller genre, but it had the potential to earn some measure of cult status. I really don't understand why such a good story had to be ruined by a dumb and unrealistic twist.

This truly is the flight from hell. With unprecedented storms battering all of the UK, we join the cast and crew of the last flight permitted to take off from England. Only a smattering of passengers is left to actually board - and what a motley crew they are - along with some mysterious object in a box marked fragile. So who's on the flight manifest? You have a surly, bigshot jerk and his two henchmen, two veteran soldiers who served in Afghanistan, a very horny young couple, an American geography teacher with a motor mouth, a doctor, a young woman, and a drunk. A few of them may appear pretty normal, but there's a story behind just about all of them. The flight crew isn't exactly top notch, either. One steward and one stewardess are decent folks, but they work with a real witch (well, it rhymes with witch, anyway) and a foreign dude who just shows up saying he's replacing someone else. Meanwhile, Malcolm (an almost unrecognizable Mark Hamill) is back in the airport control room just trying to make it through his last shift before retirement. The last thing he needs is a jet to go rogue, but that's just what happens, of course - although no one could ever imagine the events actually taking place out there above the Atlantic Ocean. The trouble starts when one passenger goes missing. Only one person really seems to care, but things start to unravel as a couple more go missing later on. I won't describe anything that happens - except to say that it's increasingly weird and genuinely unpredictable (and eventually too weird for the movie's own good). Until the big twist, I was really into it and trying to guess how things might play out in the end.

Those with sensitive ears should be aware of the fact that the entire film is filled with profanity. I haven't heard this much cursing since I lived in a college dorm. That doesn't take anything away from the story, though. Some may also be interested in the fact that Mark Hamill stars in this British horror thriller. As I mentioned above, though, I honestly didn't recognize him - not until I went back to see which character Hamill portrayed. Of course, it's been a long time since Luke Skywalker graced the big screen.

I'm giving Airborne four stars because I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of the film; I should probably deduct more than one star for the final twenty-five minutes, but the overall story is still unique enough to set it apart from the hordes of unoriginal thrillers being pumped out every year.

PROTOTYPE - Standard Edition
PROTOTYPE - Standard Edition
4 used & new from CDN$ 12.96

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most impressive and enjoyable games I've ever played, Nov. 21 2012
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
By the time I was drop-kicking helicopters out of the sky, all of my initial concerns about this game were completely forgotten. Having indulged in several weeks of FPS mayhem, it took a little while for me to adapt to Prototype's much different controls, but before too long I was running up and jumping between buildings with ease. Combat took a little longer, mainly because you have to complete a few missions before acquiring the abilities that make this game so much fun. Once you gain enough experience, though, you'll be amazed at all of the things you can do.

You take on the role of Alex Mercer, a man who wakes up in the morgue, discovers that he has incredible abilities, and makes it his mission to understand who he is and what has happened. Outside, New York City is now a quarantine zone with more and more people becoming infected by a virus that turns them into something resembling zombies. Also on the scene are swarms of elite military personnel calling themselves Blackwatch. Their mission is twofold: stop the infection from spreading outside the city and capture or kill Alex Mercer, the man blamed for unleashing the virus in the first place. Of course, you - as Alex - have no memory of doing any such thing. You're willing to bet that the man behind Project Blackwatch has the answers you're seeking, though - but getting to him won't be easy. Aside from all of the infected people and the firepower of Blackwatch, you also find yourself constantly hunted by Hunters and other genetically engineered mutants with strengths and abilities rivaling your own.

In order to survive, you will have to kill untold numbers of soldiers, monsters, and civilians (well, you don't have to kill civilians, but it's just too much fun to resist sometimes) - and those kills will be bloody affairs, especially once you have access to your most devastating offensive weapons. This isn't a game for the squeamish. You have the ability to alter your genetic code, which opens up a world of possibilities: home-grown armor plating, massive fists, chain whips you can throw and spin around for multiple eviscerations, the deadliest of blades, etc. Your most interesting and important power, though, is the ability to consume others. Consume a person and you gain access to his memories (your only real way of learning the truth), acquire his skills (such as piloting tanks or flying helicopters), and gain the ability to disguise yourself as that very person (the only way to access certain areas of the game). Consume a "monster" and you gain increased strength and health.

Prototype is only as linear as you want it to be. You do have to follow the storyline, but you can take all the time you want along the way to wander around New York, killing and consuming at your leisure. There are also a number of different challenges you can undertake to increase your experience points. The more XP you have, the more quickly you can gain access to your most devastating abilities. Whenever you're identified by the military, you have the option of simply evading them or standing your ground and killing them all - both of which reward you with extra XP. You're really going to want to master your skills and learn when to use each one because Prototype is - in my experience, at least - quite a challenging game. The only potentially negative aspect of the game is the fact that it can only be saved at certain checkpoints, but these are spaced evenly enough that you won't find yourself having to replay long sections of the game just to get back to the part where you failed or died.

So, in a nutshell, what you have here is a challenging, incredibly enjoyable, wonderfully violent game featuring a unique interface and a solid, intriguing storyline. That definitely earns five stars in my book.

100 Million BC [Import]
100 Million BC [Import]
DVD ~ Michael Gross
Price: CDN$ 7.63
14 used & new from CDN$ 3.52

4.0 out of 5 stars Not one of The Asylum's better monster movies, Nov. 13 2012
This review is from: 100 Million BC [Import] (DVD)
Whatever you do, don't show 100 Billion B.C. to a Navy Seal. It will make him very angry, and you don't want to make a Seal angry. You see, it's a group of Navy Seals who are chosen to go back in time to rescue an earlier team of soldiers who were unable to return from their virgin time travel mission. This "elite" team doesn't acquit themselves very well, I'm afraid. A real Navy Seal doesn't get nauseous at the sight of human remains, get all trigger happy when he thinks he sees something, and he sure as heck doesn't turn and run from anyone or anything, even a dinosaur.

Michael Gross plays Dr. Frank Reno, an impossibly old scientist who participated in the Philadelphia Experiment and sent a team of time travelers, led by his own brother, all the way back to 70,000,000 B.C. in 1949. (The only reason the movie is called 100 Million B.C. because it's a knock-off of the film 10,000 BC, and The Asylum likes to play tricks with potential naïve viewers.) Unable to get the team home, he has spent decades perfecting the technology so he can try again. When some distinctive cave paintings are discovered, he knows both where and when to find the long-lost team. Off he goes, along with a team of Navy Seals, back to the Cretaceous Period, but their rescue mission is only half of the story. The trouble with time portals, you see, is that it makes for a two-way street, permitting anything from the other side to make the jump, as well. I think you can see where this is going.

While the CGI effects of the dinosaurs and the destruction they wreak are pretty weak, and the story itself even weaker, I was still entertained by 100 Billion B.C. The film isn't anywhere near as good as other Asylum monster films such as Mega Piranha or Mega Shark vs. Mega Octopus, but this sort of movie really is The Asylum's bread and butter. You know to expect middling acting performances by has-been actors such as Greg Evigan, cheap special effects, and an average storyline. This movie sort of shoots itself in the foot near the end, though, as we get a quick stream of scientific psychobabble to explain some unexpected events that, quite frankly, don't make a lick of sense. Well, there's also the fact that a flaming red, 60-foot dinosaur is routinely able to sneak up on people - that definitely got my goat, as well. In the end, though, this movie is all about campy fun and the love many of us share for dumb B-movies. If you don't have the B-movie gene, you'll probably want to stay away from this one.

A Night at the Roxbury [Import]
A Night at the Roxbury [Import]
DVD ~ Chris Kattan
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 3.99
12 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty dumb but very funny, Nov. 10 2012
No one can stretch a single joke as far as Lorne Michaels and the team at Saturday Night Live, and A Night at the Roxbury may be the ultimate proof of that. The disco guys with the bobbing heads certainly had the potential to wear thin after just a few skits, so I had my doubts that there would be enough material here to sustain a complete feature film. Surprisingly enough, there is - and the brothers' shtick never really grows old.

For brothers Steve and Doug Butabi (Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan), life is all about hitting the clubs every night. By day, they work - reluctantly - for their father at his silk flower shop. Pops wants Steve to settle down and marry Emily, the girl next door (Molly Shannon) and bring about a merger of the two family businesses into a lamp and flower store, but Steve just wants to hang out with his more reckless and even dumber brother, dance the nights away, and maybe even pick up a woman successfully someday. Privately, the brothers dream of opening their own night club - but they're stymied by the fact that they have never even been able to gain admittance at the Roxbury, the cream of the night club crop. Then fate steps in and Richard Grieco gets them in and even introduces them to Mr. Zahir, the club's owner. Suddenly, it looks like their ship may finally have come in - until the following day, when everything starts to crumble. Will the brothers go their separate ways? Will Steve take up permanent residence under Emily's thumb?

It goes without saying that this is a pretty dumb movie; the important thing is that it is a genuinely funny dumb movie. Ferrell and Kattan turn these two characters into the kind of hopeless dorks you can't help but pull for, and a strong supporting cast featuring the likes of Dan Hedaya, Loni Anderson, and the late Michael Clarke Duncan (not to mention Molly Shannon) keep things entertaining when the brothers aren't showing off their dance moves. Critics hated the movie, of course, so you know it must be funny; the blowhards in the media have no appreciation of comedy for its own sake.

The Battle Within
The Battle Within
by Travis L. Klingaman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.18
8 used & new from CDN$ 18.01

2.0 out of 5 stars A novel plagued by numerous problems, Nov. 3 2012
This review is from: The Battle Within (Paperback)
I hate to write a negative review for a young author's first novel, especially one as lengthy as The Battle Within, but I'm afraid this novel reads like a rough first draft. It lacks focus and a clear theme, contains far too much extraneous material, exhibits a significant number of words used incorrectly, and never achieves a comfortable narrative flow. Even more importantly, a lot of the things that happen in the story just don't seem realistic, especially some of the main character's accomplishments, and much of the dialogue seems forced and unnatural.

Frankly, I didn't find any great conflict inside the pages of The Battle Within. The main character, Steven Brouschard, goes from leading a directionless life to one of great success wholly in line with his adolescent dreams, but the supposedly immense influence of his best friend from childhood seems greatly exaggerated to me. Steven's story mainly consists of perseverance, hard work, and a great deal of luck. A certain object may have a lot to do with all of that luck, but the story of this object is never really told.

Sadly, what stands out the most to me after reading The Battle Within are all of the errors. It's one thing to use the words "lied" and "lay" incorrectly, but it's really something else to use inexplicably wrong words on numerous occasions. An editor would have cleaned all of that up - and greatly shortened the novel. The author goes off on too many tangents; the back story of Steven's friend Marcus left me wondering if the main character were every going to show back up in the novel at all. Even with so much description of events, though, many of them just do not come across as believable.

In the end, I think Klingaman just tries too hard. Rather than letting the story tell itself, he resorts to flowery language that all too often results in stilted, unnatural, and awkward sentences. Frankly, whatever message or ideas he is trying to communicate in The Battle Within gets lost amidst all of the distracting writing.

F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate
F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate
9 used & new from CDN$ 3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great standalone F.E.A.R. expansion pack, Oct. 30 2012
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate (DVD-ROM)
F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate is a great standalone sequel to the original F.E.A.R. title, but it is not an absolute necessity because it does not introduce very much new information into the storyline. If you've already played F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, you sort of have to pretend that you don't already know all of the details you're facing going in to the escalating conflict centered on Armacham's illegal/immoral secret project to create an armed battalion of clones under the control of a genetically engineered psychic controller. In this story, you're part of a second F.E.A.R. unit sent in to secure the mysterious Alma's DNA samples before mercenaries or black ops forces can get their hands on it. And to do that, you're going to have to find your way to the Vault.

F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate does introduce a few new features to the F.E.A.R. gaming experience. For one thing, you'll actually work alongside a comrade or two on occasion. You'll also get a pretty intimate introduction to the "Nightcrawlers," a brand new enemy which can prove troublesome to eliminate. Fortunately, there are also some new weapons available for you, including a Grenade Launcher, an Advanced Rifle with a killer scope on it, and a mega-effective Chain Lightning Gun. The last can prove quite effective against even the two different types of heavy armor units you'll run into during the game. I also have to give kudos to the developers for the atmosphere of this game. Not only has the spook factor of F.E.A.R. been maintained, I believe it hits its spike here in Perseus Mandate. One particular occurrence actually caused me to jump - and that just doesn't happen to this hardcore horror fan.

If you enjoyed F.E.A.R., you'll definitely enjoy Perseus Mandate. If you're not sure about investing in the earlier (and later) F.E.A.R. games, pick Perseus Mandate up on the cheap and see if you like it. You do not have to own the original F.E.A.R. title in order to play Perseus Mandate.

Trigger Man [Import]
Trigger Man [Import]
DVD ~ Reggie Cunningham
Price: CDN$ 25.67
17 used & new from CDN$ 14.99

2.0 out of 5 stars A boring film with the worst camera work I've ever seen, Oct. 28 2012
This review is from: Trigger Man [Import] (DVD)
Having just seen Ti West's The Innkeepers, I wanted to check out some more of his cinematic wares. Trigger Man is one of West's earlier films, and I cannot say I'm very impressed. With the exception of the special effects, this was a thoroughly amateurish film that feels unmercifully long at a mere 79 minutes. If you've ever wondered how important music is to a film, watch Trigger Man to find out how bad things get when you have to watch long, boring sequences with no musical accompaniment whatsoever. It's just brutal. The very worst thing about this movie, though, is the camera work. Apparently, the whole movie was filmed by a child who just received his very first video camera. The camera never stays still; it's always zooming in and out without any rhyme or reason, panning around pointlessly, or shaking like a bad singer facing Simon Cowell.

The plot (what little there is) is supposedly based on a true story. Basically, these three city guys go out for a day of hunting. This translates into interminable minutes of them walking through the woods, sans any music whatsoever, with two of them intermittently complaining about not having anything to shoot at. These woods, I must note, happen to lie adjacent to a park trail, so it's not exactly the best place to be shooting off guns, anyway. Eventually, the guys take a beer break near the edge of the forest, right across from what appears to be an old, abandoned mill. Suddenly, a shot rings out. Thus begins our three incredibly annoying characters' struggle to somehow stay alive and escape from an unknown sharpshooter determined to kill them. You would think this would lead to some tense, emotional moments - but it doesn't. If you're like me, you won't care who lives or dies or who the killer is - you'll just want the movie to hurry up and end already.

F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
5 used & new from CDN$ 109.67

4.0 out of 5 stars Basically the rest of the original F.E.A.R. story, Oct. 28 2012
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: F.E.A.R. Extraction Point (CD-ROM)
F.E.A.R. Extraction Point doesn't add a whole lot to the original F.E.A.R. gaming experience, but it is important because it directly continues the storyline from the original game, which ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. Personally, I also thought it was fairly lengthy for an expansion pack. Sure, the best gamers can probably get through it in three or four hours, but I've purchased expansion packs for other games that offered much less gameplay than you find here. One new feature you will find in Extraction Point is the ability to slam doors open. It doesn't sound like much, but I find it much more satisfying to bang my way into a room with guns ready for blaring than to just open a door like I'm some kind of butler.

The environments aren't all that different from what you've already encountered in the original (yep, more ventilation shafts). You start out having to make your way through some slums, then go through the sewer systems to make your way to the hospital - and your extraction point. Separated from your fellow F.E.A.R. operatives, you are not the only person in danger- there are some pretty significant developments in that regard to be found here. As far as gameplay, though, it's really just more of the same. There's a heat ray weapon that I don't remember seeing in the original, and there's a new heavy armor unit that gets in your way, but Extraction Point is really just more of the same. Of course, that "same" is pretty darned fun.

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