Will Ferrel gives me a semi

I can't really explain it, by all rights, I should not be a big Will Ferrell fan. He's basically played the same character doing the same thing for the last several years, just in different arenas. From Anchorman to Talladega Nights to Blades of Glory to this week's biggest movie, Semi-Pro, he's rarely tried something different. And yet I'm more than willing to pay good money to watch it over again. Maybe eventually I'll get tired of his shtick, but for now I'll just enjoy it and not try to think too much about why.

What's the best possible news ever? That Scrubs 7th and final season may actually not be it's last. ABC, who actually owns the show, has been rumored to be trying to get at least one more season of this fantastic show. NBC is rightly pissed, but they also treated the show like crap for the whole time it's been on NBC despite it being the only worthwhile sitcom on the entire network until The Office & 30 Rock came along.

That's really it for today, but your Trailer of the week is a new kickass trailer for IRON MAN (god this is gonna be awesome):


EA will soon own the universe

Sorry about not updating Friday, I had planned to do something about the Oscars, but then I realized that any awards show that would completely pass over King of Kong for even a nomination in best documentary doesn't deserve any sort of write-up. I am watching the show as I'm writing this, but it's pretty much because there's really nothing else on (and because John Stewart can make just about anything tolerable).

Before I get onto today's main topic, though I did not get around to seeing Be Kind Rewind, but there are 2 other worthwhile movies I did check out. Charlie Bartlett certainly has some issues, and I'm not just talking about the film's protagonist. It's a mostly clever concept somewhat tainted by almost completely collapsing into ridiculousness in the final third of the film. But it is amusing and charming and star Anton Yelchin puts on a great performance that is very worth paying good money to see.

The other film just came out on DVD and I highly recommend renting it ASAP. Gone Baby Gone certainly sounds like a recipe for disaster. Quickly fading movie star Ben Affleck, who hasn't directed a feature film before, directing a movie with THAT title (certainly doesn't sound like a serious drama), and casting his younger, mostly untested brother, Casey, in the starring role. What we get instead is easily one of the best dramas I've seen in quite awhile. Masterfully crafted with great performances by everybody, Gone Baby Gone is a fantastic mystery thriller about those real grey areas that fall in-between right and wrong, without falling into the preachy, melodramatic & predictable traps that so many films that try for the same ideal fall into. I've always believed Ben Affleck was a talented guy who just made some bad (ok, REALLY BAD) choices in scripts. It turns out his best work may be behind the camera, so hopefully with this great film under his belt, we'll get to see more from him.

In case you haven't heard by now, EA, obviously threatened by the creation of uber-publisher Activision-Blizzard, has tried to acquire GTA publisher Take Two. Now Take Two did reject the offer, but only because they think the offer will be significantly higher after GTA IV comes out, so it only seems like a matter of time; and the 2 billion (that's right, BILLION) initial offering makes the Bioware/Pandemic buyout seem like small time stuff. Now, most will decry this as sure ruination of the GTA franchise, but there is one thing that gives me a little hope. John Riticello, head of EA has apparently noticed the declining scores on sites like metacritic, and isn;t happy about it. He's actually even promised to do something to increase those scores. Granted, that could end up being an empty promise, but given that companies these days do things like get critics fired for giving a bad review, someone at Riticello's level actually even brining up poor scores and making a promise to try and improve those is something noteworthy, and hopefully that is exactly what acquiring talent like Bioware, Pandemic & Take Two is going towards.

FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Music in Motion


POWER TO THE PEOPLE! (is that a good thing?)

So, ever taken a look at an game (especially on Xbox Live Arcade) and said to yourself "I can make something better than this trash!". Well then smart guy, it's time to put your money where your mouth is, because Microsoft is finally making XNA tools not only available to the public, but will post your stuff on Xbox Live if it passes muster. While I'm sure some will liken this to a golden age of indie games, I more feel that it'll mostly be like Newgrounds is now-an occasional gem, but mostly giant piles of steaming crap that you'd have to pay me to play for more than a minute. There are a few demos on Live now that you can check out, but most are evidence that this is really something best left to pros.

Well, it's been awhile, but there's finally some movies worth discussing out this weekend. Sadly, one of them is apparently not Vantage Point, since it has one hell of a cast, but really bad reviews.

But there two very interesting films out this weekend. One is Charlie Bartlett, which is a more modern take on films like Ferris Bueller. Granted, there have been many, many attempts over the years to do a modern take on that film and most have them have turned out pretty terrible, but Bartlett has mostly solid reviews to back it up, so I'll definitely try and check it out.

The other is one I've been excited about for quite awhile-Be Kind Rewind, from Michael Gondry, who brought us the brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This seems like more of a straight-forward goofball comedy, but it also looks like a lot of fun and I really enjoy both Mos Def & Jack Black so I'll be making this one a priority.

That's all for today but I definitely plan on updating tomorrow & Sunday, so see you then.


It's just so obvious....

Some things seem so freaking natural, you can't imagine how they weren't come up with before now, especially given all the more out there ideas that seem to come down the pipeline. Just look at Okami. Given it's premise of painting stuff on screen, the Wii seemed like such a natural fit, and that's happening in about a month. Now, look at Dragonquest Swords, coming out this week. The Wii obviously can't do an epic free-roaming rpg quite like Oblivion, but Dragonquest seems like an ideal way to do something similar. Instead, what is Dragonquest swords? An on-rail light gun game with swords. Whoopdeedo. And hey, maybe it's not eve that bad an idea, but it just seems like such wasted potential. I guess I'll just hope that Square Enix sees the light and makes a worthy Dragonquest epic in the near future, because lord knows the Wii is seriously hurting for rpgs of any kind at this point.

And has Fox news learned to not poke the bear yet? Every time they have attacked video games, they come off looking like complete morons. After the tragedy at NIU earlier this week, who, despite being already massively discredited as an expert on anything except being a fucking moron, took the first opportunity to promote himself with Fox's full backing? Jackass Thompson of course. Now he's a "school shooting expert"? What exactly qualifies him as that? His psych degree? Oh wait, he doesn't have that. Years in the field? Nope. Any experience in anything except being a complete ass? Nope. Take Two completely destroying Thompson in court will hopefully make other companies aware that they really don't have to put up with this crap.

FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Adventures of Gyro Adams


A Blue Odyssey

So, the first (and for quite awhile, only) rpg of '08 hits this week in Lost Odyssey. To be honest, even though it has quite the pedigree, I hadn't had much interest, as it seemed like a very bland, traditional rpg. But oddly enough, it was Blue Dragon, which I have gone through a little odyssey of my own with, that may be having me changed my mind. Blue Dragon is a very, VERY traditional Japanese RPG. It was more a victim of bad timing than anything else. Literally the day I brought it home was the day my 360 decided to crap out on me. So it sat there for 5 weeks with no way for me to play it, and by the time I got my 360 back, you get the insane trifecta of Halo 3, Mass Effect & Orange Box just on 360. Nevermind that there was also a couple of other titles like Mario Galaxy & Uncharted also getting most of my attention. So it basically sat on my gaming shelf. But, about a week ago, convinced I would find it dull like the less kind reviews have been saying. And suddenly nearly 30 hours in, I'm really digging the old school vibe. Yeah, it's turn-based (which RPGs seem to be moving away from these days) and Marumaro is one of the most annoying characters in a long time, but there is plenty of enjoyement to be had for those of us who grew up on these kind of rpgs and still enjoy the occasional one. And while I won't pick up Lost Odyssey right away since I want to actually finish Blue Dragon first, I'll be likely to pick it up as soon as that's done (which should actually be in the next week). And for those wondering, Devil May Cry 4 is still sitting unwrapped in my table...

The long-awaited Will Wright epic Spore finally has a release date of Sept. 7th. That is a ways off, so hopefully it's a date that can be kept, as this was one of those games people were betting would be stuck in development hell for all of eternity.

What's the best post-strike news? That Scrubs, come hell or high water will be given a proper finish. Granted, theoretically I'd want the show to keep going forever, but 7 years is an incredible run for any show, and it's good that they end it while the show is still top notch rather than waiting until it's a shell of it's former self (I'm looking at you, Simpsons).

Finally, I'd like to give a cheap plug out to my buddy Warden, fellow game enthusiast with a pretty solid blog of his own. Also a good source for more in-depth reviews rather than the usual quick snippets you see on here.




I wasn't planning to honestly do an update today, with not a whole lot of major news and really nothing worth mentioning out this weekend, but hey, breaking news: the writer's strike is finally done! So what does this mean for this TV season? Some shows can still be salvaged, such as the Office, but several disappointing points, such as no 24 until fall or possibly January of next year, and Scrubs will get 4 more episodes, but that's a couple short of the 18 planned for the final season and those might be just released on DVD. So, some not so great consequences, but I certainly don't blame the writers, they've been screwed by the studios for years now. Hopefully both sides will have enough foresight in the future that next time big contracts are up for negotiation, they can avoid most of these pitfalls.

I picked up Devil May Cry 4, but I haven't popped it open and am most likely going to return it. The reviews have been pretty solid, but they all mention the very repetitive nature of the game and honestly I couldn't stand the faux crap metal that was in the demo, I really don't relish the idea of listening to more of that in the 20 missions. But I'll think it over for a few days.

That's mostly it for today, but remember awhile ago, it was announced that Steven Spielberg was making a game for the Wii. Now this is hardly the first time a big Hollywood personality has gotten involved in gaming, and usually the results are less than spectacular (and half the time, the person acts like they just forgot to take their ADD medication and move on to something else without finishing the project). But Spielberg seems serious about making a fun and simple title that doesn't seem nearly as ambitious as most of his other projects, but still seems like a fun time (and the physics engine is supposedly insane), check out the trailer for Bloom Blox:



Bah, is it Monday already? I had an extremely busy & exhausting last several days (and there honestly wasn't any new movies worth discussing and not a whole lot of breaking news). But I've decided one thing I've definitely been slacking on is talking about upcoming movie news. I'll post trailers and such, but rarely talk about things like casting or even announcements of movies. I'll start trying to do that more, starting today with the awesome announcement that they are making a big screen adaptation of The Greatest American Hero! I really loved the whole concept of this show, basically the idea of a guy who never really quite gets the hang of his powers. The director has a strong background for great comedy already, and since he has said he was holding an open casting call, may I suggest Nicholas Brendon? He's a little towards the older end of what you guys are looking for, but I think he's beyond perfect for this type of role, and it could clearly be a breakout thing for him.

Other big movie news is the Guillermo Del Toro is directing the new Hobbit film. Obviously given that Peter Jackson did such a tremendous job with the LOTR trilogy, he would be the best option, but Del Toro has shown he can do epic fantasy with the best of them, so I'll be very excited to see what he does with this project.

One movie I did finally get to see was Cloverfield, and I really enjoyed it. Not much else to say on that, but the effects were used very well, and I thought the handheld camera gimmick worked well in this movie unlike so many others. I've already heard sequel talk, but I feel that will taint the original.

Finally, I did finish No More Heroes, and it was one hell of an experience. I highly reccomend this to anyone looking for a truly great action experience with a awesome story to go along with it. It does come in a little bit short on play time (just under 14 hours), but oh it is a very, very sweet 14 hours.