Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Final Destination review

I am not a big fan of pure horror films or 'gore porn' films such as the Saw films,Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the Ring, Friday the 13th, and the Excorcist among others.
Usually I prefer the tangents off of the genre. There is the Zombie horror, which is the best kind to transfer to a games man like myself, full of human social commentary with the usual action.

I Still think this is the best of its kind

There is the Science Fiction/Horror's like the Alien and Terminator series, blending action with bloody gore and some suspense

I even thought this was alright as a premise...

And then there is the comic horror where the films poke fun at horror conventions to a varying degree. Scary Movie goes all out for fun while the Final Destination Series has had a somewhat darker, though obvious humour in its films.

Not this obvious though

I have been a fan of the Final Destination movies since the younger side of my teens. They are never going to be critical masterpieces in the same way that Let the Right one in has been, and I know what to expect from the films;The lead character has a premonition in which a sizeable group are killed in an accident, saves themselves and a few others from the accident, accident happens, then one by one the few survivors are killed off in mouse trap type accidents. Aside from the exception of Ali Larter's character in Final Destination 2, no one makes it to the end of the film. Its more obvious to expect than what happens when a man sees a beautiful woman naked on his bed.

Despite my fun with the series, I have yet to see them on the big screen, which is a mighty shame with The Final Destination's case. At the time of its release, its big draw was that it was in 3D, and from the outset, not tacked on for that extra buck. It sadly shows when I finally saw it on the TV for the first time. Objects that fly out hit the walls of the TV screen and not right in my face, and as the film progresses it gets more and more noticeable with explosions, water and nails all flying out and about. Heck, there was even a sex scene, imagine the doorty fap in 3D!

They saw the 3D bewbz

So without the effect, the film feels very flat to watch, and CG effects are much more noticeable, even more so than the third. Still, it can't be all bad to watch, isnt the main draw overall about the death scenes?

Well, it sorta falls flat on that too...

The feeling of losing control, a theme in the third Final Destination in particular, is lost in the opening scene. the chances of escaping the Speedway crash feel somewhat greater to live than  its predecessors (fancy your chances surviving a Plane explosion or Roller Coaster ride?) The larger accidents near the climax also make death into some force akin to a Soldier with a chaingun with unlimited ammunition and grenades, killing ALL CIVILIANS just to get the survivors. Isn't 'death' a rather selective force in the series, why the deaths of the characters are more scary than if killed with many more alongside them?

its geting tired of singling out
Much of the previous instalments already got the cream of horrendous death sequences, such as the surprise bus accident, the tanning beds, the flying barbed wire, falling ladder, bathtub strangulation and so on. This film has a lot of retreads, with possibly the most scary being the swimming pool accident. Not by the act itself, but because it is based on an actual event.
The car wash sequence, while new, felt strangely non lethal. The suspension of disbelief is required I know, but I have seen Jonathan Goodwin tied down to a car in a washer in nothing but boxers.

Channel 4 in the noughties

Still, the Security guard is a pleasant change of the 'Evil black man that dies first' stereotype in horror (funnily, it is the racist redneck who gets it first while attacking a coloured man). The rest of the cast reek of bad character development. The romance between the lead and his girlfriend is worthy of attention, but IMO it would have been better had he done something that would save her but at the cost of his life (mushy but ah well).

My main problem, aside from the 3D failings when flat, is that it does not do anything over the top-fresh for the series. The fans watch the films for ingeniously gory scenes, and at the same time a twist in how the 'death' system works. The twist only really gains urgency near the end, and while I enjoyed these climactic events, the rest of the film plays by numbers and going rather refined over revolutionary. Its campy, overly reliant on the 3D gimmick and unoriginal.

So while I rank this as the lowest of all the Final Destinations, there is but one film in the series I have yet to see, and one which disproved the point of the title 'The Final Destination'. Will it be any good? I hope to see it soon!

Directed by a James Cameron Protegé (o.O)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

I Love Halo/Halo 4 first look excitement

I am mad about one game series, and one game series in particular. That series is Halo. If I wanted one tattoo in my life, it would be this one...

Its the game series I would play forever in heaven, and forever participate in the ongoing conflict in Valhalla over capturing flags.

My desktop wallpaper c.2007

Its more than just a series of games. Its a culture, built around a space opera epic that can legitimately be compared to the hype and scale of Star Wars, a multiplayer experience that saved a games console, and a following known as the halo nation that are friendly, competitive, and ever questioning about the knowledge of the Halo universe.
No 2 Halo fans are the same. Some enjoy reading the novels about the more humane aspects of being a supersoldier. Others love the story of six lowly soldiers fighting the covenant army under cover of darkness in a city the size of New York. Some like myself, enjoy the feeling of delivering the business end of my battle rifle to another players head, and going on to win a match.

less than three

It is also a franchise that does not forget its roots, and at the same time it makes advances to keep up with the times. Two series of late have hit me as being examples in how not to do this. Assassin's Creed's original premise was simply that of a man hopping on the rooftops to stealthily strike a specific target, yet the latest look at the series has full scale battles of the american revolution, and more that of a mercenary than of a silent assassin. They made needed adjustments, which I like, but lost the way of the assassin, and looks like they have gone into full battle mode

On the other extreme, you have the Call of Duty franchise, which is at the moment king of the games industry. It has kept faithful to the CoD4 formula, but to a fault. No major changes have been made since 2007, and it shows with its latest entry, Modern Warfare 3. It is a stale experience that I thoroughly disliked for being akin to a DLC product slapped with a €50 price.

A campaign shorter than Terminator:Salvation says it all

Bungie came out with a quality product with many changes as their last hurrah to the series in 2010, Reach. While some players disliked things like armour abilities, reticle bloom and overuse of forge world maps, there is no denying that it was a success. It had all the elements of a halo game, and delivered something fresh at the same time. It had a great story, along with addictive multiplayer and stuffed with more content than some games have on two disks! Most importantly, like all halo games, it felt like the studio had put a great deal of effort beyond the ordinary to create such a game. Every last bit of love shone through in the details, like the references to prior Halo games like the night time sniping mission, or the grandiose set pieces such as the evacuation of a city before being burned to dust.

Remember Reach. Forget CoD

And the future looks brighter than ever, with 343 industries taking the helm, a dedicated team that are as big a fan of the series as the community, they could well make something special with Halo 4. the recent first look has had me more hyped than I expected, truly the Multiplayer looks like the child of a loving Halo 3 and Reach couple, and the campaign looks to bring a new take on the story of the galaxy's biggest badass.

Wake me when you need me

It is such a pleasure to see this vidoc showcasing little tibits, and at the same time keep pretty much the whole story, as well as more multiplayer details hidden. The hype is driving me mad! I hope that the series will rightly reclaim the throne of FPS king once the Call of Duty ship sinks from milking.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

World Wide Web War 1: ACTA

So its near the end of Q1 of 2012, and I am getting bloody annoyed at the whole ACTA craze that seems to be sweeping across the continent like a plague...

I am not good at describing ACTA, so this is a rather user friendly summary of it

SOPA may have been averted from the world, at least for the meantime, but ACTA seems to have got by fairly easily, notice a lack of sites going dark over this one?

Back when SOPA was still somewhat in the news, I was looking for something related to ACTA, and all I found on the Irish news media sites was the headline "Hackers attack Polish government websites"

What struck me at the time was that this was the only mention of ACTA at the time, despite all the widespread online protesting, it accounted for no media attention. A government website had to go down to get a news article less than 2 minutes long to hit the Irish public. Doing dangerous activities is the only way to get RTÉ's attention, and then you get labelled a cyberterrorist instead of a protester that needs to get the world to talk about ACTA.

Unfortunately, ACTA has seen less backlash over its persistence and, for me, the Irish view of acceptance. We protest for a day and then give up after a while. We are such wimps of a population in this country, getting bossed around, and yet we still take it every friggin day and do NOTHING to change it. We live our lives just getting little things being changed. For example, we lost indoor smoking and late bars, and despite the protests we just let it happen!

Thankfully, Bulgarians are not like us, they do something about the ACTA laws

Sign the petition against ACTA, they need 200'000 signs and are halfway there as I type. Heres hoping...