Baccano! The Complete Series


I'm at a loss for words… When I discovered Baccano! (mostly due to pure luck), I had high expectations due to the praise it received from the small amount of people who actually watched it. Having seen this, I realize that I've never had so much fun watching a TV show before watching Baccano!, a series that can’t just be described as phenomenal or amazing. Words can’t describe the grand nature of this show which many underestimate due to it being part of a genre known as animation, causing it to be skipped by many skeptics.

While it’s a joy to watch Baccano!, its a pain to explain the story, which is probably another reason why it continues to be an unknown gem in the anime industry. The story takes place in the 1930s across multiple storylines: a group of alchemist who gain immortality and have put their abilities to use in the mafia, a three way train robbery on the transcontinental “Flying Pussyfoot”, a mafia turf war between two families, and a person named Eve Genoard searching for her lost brother Dallas Geonard. These are a few of the many storylines that take place in Baccano!, each taking place simultaneously while the storyline switches through each plothread. This may sound confusing, but in reality…it is. Baccano! requires that the viewer watch every single episode while paying close attention to the events that unfold. Those who believe that the show will make no sense can be described as idiotic, as the show is a bit confusing at first, but manages to link each event together, making for an extremely satisfying experience.

The characters are where Baccano! shines, as the cast of characters are all full of energy and all manage to leave an impression on you. What is surprising is the fact that none of the characters are the focal points of any of the stories presented. This is unexpected, since the lack of any focal point what-so-ever should make the characters weak and lack impact. However, using the power of strong storytelling, outstanding writing and dialogue, and a great sense of style makes them the best cast of characters to ever grace an anime.
Animation looks great with beautiful environments, expressive character models, and stellar action scenes. The faces of the characters need a little more polish, but they are expressive, with sadistic characters looking…well…sadistic. Action scenes are also fantastic, with characters utilizing knives, guns and hand to hand combat for some fantastic fights that are plentiful in this anime. Did I mention that the blood and gore looks beautiful?

Speaking of blood and gore, Baccano! is a surprisingly brutal anime, with bodies being torn apart, fingers being crushed, heads being blown off, etc. This should be a clear warning for small children under the age of 13, as this will make many cringe. However, it does enhance the overall “fun” of this show (since my definition of fun is quite sadistic). Seeing someone brutally murder countless mafia members has never been this much fun since the days of the old American Gangster flicks.

The sound is phenomenal, with terrific voice casting, satisfying sound effects, and an addicting sound track. The Japanese voice casting is solid, but it never matches up to the English voice cast, which can be safely called the greatest dubbing for an anime since Cowboy Bebop. The sound effects include authentic weapon sounds, satisfying punches, and a lot of explosions. The opening is Guns & Roses by Paradise Lunch, a song which captures the energy of the show and further enhances the 1930s American gangster film feel.

Baccano is the Italian word for ruckus, meaning it would be appropriate to call Baccano! the greatest baccano to ever grace a screen. While it’s length may be an issue for some (13 episodes and 3 OVA's), each episode is chock full events, making every single one of them entertaining and engrossing. Those who want to watch the greatest anime to ever grace a DVD should pre order Baccano! The Complete Series Box Set which will be available December 29, 2009. I guarantee that it will be the cause of much enjoyment for those who buy this legendary product.

Bamboo Blade Volume 1


My review for Bamboo Blade Volume 1 has been published. Link here.
Buy Now!

New Facebook Picture


Itazura na Kiss Volume 1 (Omnibus)


My review for Itazura na Kiss Volume 1 has been published. Link here.
Buy Now!

I am an IDIOT!


DAMMIT!!! My stupidity/carelessness/overconfidence(circle your pick), has caused about an hour of temporary depression. Having requested Baccano! The Complete Box Set for my Christmas list, I have failed to realize that Baccano! The Complete Box Set comes out December 29th. What causes great self loathing, is not that I'm not going to get it, but the fact that I was spending hours researching the product, forgetting to check if it actually was released! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!!! (Abusing myself)

At least the present will actually be a surprise.

Maximum Ride Volume 2


My review for Maximum Ride Volume 2 has been published. Link Here.
Buy Now!

Maximum Ride Volume 1


My review for Maximum Ride Volume 1 has been published. Link Here.
Buy Now!

Snow Day


For winter break, we have gone to Brewster in the Cape Cod area. It seems that the snow has hit the cape early, due to at least a foot of snow being presented to me as I looked outside my window yesterday morning. I have seen lots of spectacles that I have never seen before in person. It helps me to appreciate the beauty of the cape during winter.

I can't believe I forgot the camera! (DAMMIT!)

However, the beauty can be pretty decieving, due to my stupidity nearly resulting in my demise. During an outing, I accidently locked myself out, resulting in a struggle to the front door, which was surrounded by two feet of snow. Did I mention that a blizzard was taking place while I was stuck outside? This resulted in much pain, numb fingers, and wet clothes. Reflecting on it, I realize that it could have been much worse. MUCH WORSE!



Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones
At the bottom of the blog is this Playlist widget which I update regularly. This contains music I like. While there is not much on it, it will grow with the passing of time. ENJOY!

Pandora Hearts Volume 1


Here is the link to my review of volume one of Pandora Hearts .
Buy Now!

Published on the Westlake Featherduster!!!


I am proud to report that I have been published for the first time on a newspaper! This paper is the Westlake Featherduster, a newspaper for Westlake High School. The story is a review for Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and is on page 64 and in the Rants and Raves section of the paper. I also gave a sidebar with tips on how to play the game, so I hope they help. Those of you who are interested should pick up a copy of The Westlake Featherduster, an for more information go to

A review show I found interesting.




I have gotten a position in the Manga Jouhou (, reviewing staff! I am so glad, since I can finally gain some experience and assist the staff of Manga Jouhou. Thank you for accepting me, Manga Jouhou.

The Long Thanksgiving!


Due to my lack of time, I have decided to do make an episode of Critic Cast, with a co-host during Thanksgiving. I will attempt to get him to film with me and will also discuss multiple subjects per show. Please send requests at I can't guarantee to accept all of them, but I will attempt to do most of them. Patrick Robinson shall be my co-host, if he accepts my offer. Prepare for a long string of reviews!

Sorry for Yesterday!


Today has been quite a busy weekend. The amount of work given to me seem to have caused me to go mad, resulting in immense fatigue, causing me to forget to write a post yesterday. I watched The Blind Side this weekend, and intend to do a review on it soon. I will review chapter 1 of Going Rogue, due to their only being 6 chapters. My review for Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days will be published on the school newspaper. Be sure to pick up the December issue of the Westlake Featherduster!

Sidebars and Going Rogue


The Westlake Featherduster asked me to do a sidebar for a story I was doing on Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. I gave the game a mostly positive review, but found that their was many flaws that stopped it from being anything "special". The sidebar basically has me giving tips on how to complete the game. Those who are interested should take a look at the December issue of The Westlake Featherduster. For more information, go to This newspaper has won various awards, and is considered on of the top High School Newspapers in the nation. Pick up a copy, you won't regret it!

Also, my Diablo 2 review won't be finished until I get the expansion pack, so be patient. I also plan on doing a review on The World Ends With You, but due to my grand parents coming, I probably will probably not get much time to play it. Critic Cast is still on hold unfortunately, I am trying my hardest to get all the software up and running for it. I am also going to read Going Rogue: An American Life, a book by Sarah Palin. I'm not expecting it to be good, since I don't like Palin in the first place, but I will give it a chance, since I don't hate Palin.

Warcraft, Spanish, and Blogging: Yes, they have absolutely nothing in common!


My problem with maintaining a blog, is the fact that I can't seem to figure out what to write about everyday. It also does get in the way of my school work, making it hard to write posts when I'm supposed to be studying for oral presentations in spanish. I have decided to do game reviews I think worth mentioning. I will also be trying World of Warcraft, an online RPG which I had enormous problem getting into, due to the fact that I can't concentrate on these type of games. Due to my addiction to Diablo 2, I will attempt to "readdict" myself to the game, to see if I can understand why so many people love this title. I will put the name of my character and what server I use, that is if I actually like the game. I may also review The World Ends With You, or Knights of a Nightmare depending on my mood.

DSi-XL...the stupidest thing I've ever heard of!


What illegal substances have the idiots at Nintendo been taking? On November 21st, the DSI-XL will be released, a fat version of the DSi. The reason for it is said to "allow spectators to see the action on the bigger screen", but we all know that this is "BS", and that Nintendo just wants to find ways of cheating the consumer into buying a product which lacks any significant features compared to it's cheaper counterpart the DSi. What unnerves me is that their is no GBA slot (Which would have made this product worthwhile), there is a stylus the size of a freakin PEN, there is absolutely no technological advancments, its size makes it less portable and won't allow anyone to slide it in there pocket, and the product costs $220! Who in their right mind would want to buy this! If you are visually impaired, yes, but that really isn't Nintendo's target demographic. This probably won't make much money either, since polls in October done on IGN show that not many feel like upgrading. While it's good intentioned, it really is horrible idea, since hardly any money will be made. Don't buy the DSi-XL! While it hasen't even come out yet, their absolutely no reason for buying it. The only reason would be if you have impaired vision, but you will be forced to pay $200 if you have vision problems. That's just cruel. The Nintendo DSi-XL, more like the Nintendo BSi-XL*.
*If you don't get the joke, then you are sad.

Critic Vs. The Devil


I'm still recovering from my mild illness, so school is becoming a huge pain in the arse(intentionally mispelled so my parents don't massacre me). I won't be able to dish out reviews, but I will try to come up with random subject matter to write about everyday. I was able to get Diablo 2 but I neglected to buy the expansion Lords of Destruction, meaning that I have been officially labeled an idiot by all my friends who play this game. However, I am having a great time with it, but I doubt I will be able to write a review this week, due to homework, book reports, and countless projects. Diablo 2 can easily be classified as a drug, due to the genocide you commit toward the devil's minion and the devil himself (Genocide has never been this fun). I still have yet to try out, but I heard that their is some lag problems, leaving me a bit worried. During the weekend, I will be watching Fantastic Mr. Fox, so expect a review on that.

In the year 2012...


2012 is what I exactly expected it to be: dumb, cliched, and fun. Technically, this film should be absolutely horrible, since it is full of sloppy dialogue, cliches that grow old fast, and the funniest Russian accents in the history of cinema. However, due to Emmerich's uncanny ability to offering amazing spectacles of destruction, laughter, and enjoyment, the film survives, with the the most action packed spectacles that give viewers the impression that the director had a drug overdose.

2012 is basically another disaster film, meaning that it portrays cataclysmic scenarios. Basically the world "as we know it" has gone to end, when solar flares from the sun cause the Earth's surface to become unstable, reeking vast amounts of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and chaos. The story follows a failing novelist by the name of Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), who after getting divorced, becomes a limousine driver for a rich Russian family. It's after disaster strikes, that he takes his ex-wife, her current husband and Curtis' former children and goes gallivanting off to find ships which act as arks to save as many people possible. The end is predictable, and predicting who dies is as easy as finding out who will die in a low budget horror movie. However, it's the journey and not the destination, which is enjoyable.

The movie relies heavily on CG effects, but it really doesn't matter, once you see the whole earth be demolished in the most destructive way filmmakers can imagine. Michael Bay would be envious of the scenes the viewers are confronted with, as they usually are composed of explosions, mass chaos, casualties, and cool looking spectacles. Sure, it's extremely unrealistic in the way everything blows up, making The Day After Tomorrow, seem like An Inconvenient Truth, but that's not the point. The point is to shock the viewer into wonder, as he sees mass chaos dished out in mass quantities, making one view of this film to satisfy those who crave destruction.

Mass chaos aside, the film has sloppy dialogue, which make many sad moments seem cheesy at best. The acting doesn't help either, since they're over the top, some eliciting laughter at the complete ridiculousness of their lack of skills in the acting division. The Russians which are depicted in this film are probably my favorite performances, since their accents made their speech difficult to understand, stopping me from noticing the crappy dialogue. The weakest performances have got to be the son and daughter of Curtis, since their dialogue usually consist of stupidity that only the retarded could come up with. Whether it be their refusal to staying in a safe location, to their refusal to listen to Curtis and his Ex-Wife, the children can be called suicidally insane at best. In fact, I was praying those kids would get the ax, since they just added to the stupidity to the film as a whole.

2012 is a dumb, but fun film. It's a good time spender which is unique in it's destructive premise, and scenes. Those expecting anymore should look elsewhere, since their is little to no character development, complexities in the storyline, and heartfelt moments that are more sad than cheesy. It's good cheesy fun, something that will ultimately be forgettable, but will be interesting for the two and a half hour viewing time.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized


Modern Warfare 2 has finally hit consoles. Unfortunately though, skepticism is one word we can use to describe how people felt about the DS release of Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized. This was due to the fact that the DS wasn't exactly known for it's technological prowess. I, on the other hand, decided to give this game a try, since I wondered how they would attempt to bring the epic experience to the DS. The answer: they didn't. Instead, they made a game that has no relation to it's console counterparts (besides the cover), allowing the creators to create a unique experience for the DS. The result is not only the greatest FPS on the DS, but also a huge technological achievement for the portable console.

The single player has you playing a few soldiers who are searching for a nuke. Unfortunately, due to stupidity of this military, they end up making a simple operation take up a whole entire 6 hours. The story is interesting but lacks any impact, making it more of an excuse to go around killing insurgents. Thankfully, the gameplay is extremely fun, making me wish that the military in this game were even more idiotic so the adventure could last a little longer.

The game has you going to various locations, fighting vast amounts enemies with a variety of weapons. The weapons are as real as the DS can make them, each with unique sounds, reload times, and recoil. This may not sound much, but for a DS, this is huge. The enemies now do stuff, unlike the games predecessor Call of Duty World At War for the DS, where the enemies went to a location, and just stood their, shooting. Granted the enemies are all retarded, but they sometimes take cover, rush at you with shotguns, and retreat when shot at. When they are not acting intelligent, they usually just standing in a spot waiting to get shot at.

The controls are quick and responsive. You basically use your DS stylus to aim, and the D-pad to move around. Some may need a bit of time to get used to it, but I had no trouble adjusting to this interesting control method. Reloading requires that you tap the weapon icon on the touch screen, which is very efficient.

The game is hard. On the easiest difficulty level, the enemies are most likely going to kill you quickly if you don't utilize cover, making the final levels rather diffcult, since one of them involves a time limit and tons of enemies. It may sound frustrating, but it's actually fun as hell, since the action doesn't feel as fragmented, and it's immensly satisfying to finish the games campaign. The campaign is short, but for good reason, since the single player seems to prepare you for six player multiplayer, survival mode, and arcade mode.

Six player multiplayer will keep you busy for hours on end, since the game had the generosity of including unlockable weapons which are given to you based on the amount of kills you get. The unlockables not only motivates you, but adds a lot of variety to an otherwise basic multplayer. The multiplayer is pretty much revolutionary on the DS, since never before has their been 6 player online multiplayer feature on any DS game. Next title, they should try bumping up the player to 8, and concentrate on adding RPG elements to the multiplayer.

Other features include a plethora of challenges and achievments, allowing for tons of replayability. In fact, it doesn't stop there. Finishing the game on the normal difficulty level allows players to unlock arcade mode, which is basically the single player game with a point system. Unfortunately, the feature was tacked on, due to the fact that the game doesn't save your statistics. To add insult to injury, they don't even utilize online ranking, making this a forgettable feature. Still, it's fun to compare scores with your friends. Finishing the game on hard allows you to unlock the final feature, survival mode. Basically this mode has you fighting against wave after wave of enemies at once, making it an interesting mode. Unfortunately, the game didn't put co-op, making it a missed opportunity. However, it will definetly keep you occupied and it does give me hope that the sequel will expand on this mode.

Overall, this is it: the ideal FPS for the DS. N-Space has done a fantastic job, for they have created a solid shooter that not only will keep people occupied for hours, but will show that the DS is capable of first person shooters. If you are looking for a great action game, than Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized is the game for you.



Due to sickness, I won't be able to review 2012 today, instead I will watch it tommorrow, regardless if I'm still sick. My Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized review will be posted this week. Unfortunately, due to many assignments due Monday, I can't gurantee that my reviews will be posted this weekend. I would also like to thank Veronika for telling people about my blog. While it's debatable whether it has caused the subscriber count to my feed to go up to 13, I am very thankful.

A Walk in The Woods


Recently, I have been reading A Walk in The Woods, a novel by Bill Bryson. The story follows the author as he travels the Appalachian Trail with his rather chubby friend, Stephen Katz, meeting the most bizarre people along the way. What I love most about the novel is the unique perspective that Bryson offers. Mixing historical facts and events on the trail, A Walk in The Woods informs you on the history and geography of this trail, all while delivering humorous insight into it. Bryson also manages to deliver a convincing and solid environmental message, while not appearing like an environmental fanatic. If you are looking for a book with heart, insight, wit, a subtle environmental message, hilarious characters, and information that is presented in an interesting way, then Bryson's A Walk in the Woods is necessary reading.

Prepare for Battle...on the DS


N-Space has announced that they will be hosting a Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized fan match, where owners can play matches against the developers of the game. The event will be hosted Friday, so those who want to join should RSVP on facebook. To access the page to RSVP, click here. I will use this opportunity to gain some kills in order to unlock more weapons for the muliplayer. After this, I do believe that I will be able to conclude my review this Saturday. If you are an owner of this game than RSVP today, and HURRY, since the match is on November 13th, meaning that their will be only two days left! See you on the battlefield!

A Christmas Carol


A story that has been retold countless times, A Christmas Carol is a unique adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. The story is about the greedy Ebenezer Scrooge, who after being visited by the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley, gets visited by three demented spirits which will change his ways. What sets this apart from other adaptations, is the Robert Zemeckis animation style used. This animation is something that both helps and hurts the film, while it does make for some eye catching visuals, it does backfire, since it does distract viewers from the movie. Other than that, the film is enjoyable, with Jim Carrey offering a great performance as Scrooge, and the film itself offering a very dramatic morality tale.

Earlier I called the film "dramatic", which unfortunately is huge understatement. Imagine the acting from Star Trek mixed with a ridiculous amount of dark subject matter, and a rather extreme amount of noise. This recipe is the formula for A Christmas Carol a film that seems bipolar, as it awkwardly transitions from quiet moments, to moments that are either disturbingly loud, or just frightening. An example of this would be "the ghost of Christmas present" who after laughing as if he was baked for half an hour, suddenly dies in a dark and loud manner. You may want to warn your child before entering the theatre, since they probably are going to piss out blood after seeing "the ghost of Christmas future" who gave me a heart attack.

Aspects of the film that I like were the animation, writing, and performance of Jim Carrey. Carrey does a marvelous job as Scrooge, successfully capturing the misery of the old geezer. His voice gives a clear indication that he is a grumpy and greedy bastard, who only cares about his own welfare and is seriously in need of three ghost to scare him into repentance.

The aspect that was not to great was the ending, which was solid in writing and performances, but suffered greatly due to the animation. The tone of the ending is dark and serious, but is distracted with exaggerated effects and a chase scene between Scrooge and "death" that greatly overstays its welcome. Minus the chase scene, the ending to the movie was pleasant, but I do wish that more details concerning the transformation of Scrooge were given, since it was the part where Jim Carrey's acting really shined.

Overall, A Christmas Carol is a solid entry in the endless list of adaptions that have made this piece of literature. I do wish the animation didn't go overboard, since it detracted from an otherwise magical and entertaining experience.

Nostalgia Review (DS)


Nostalgia for the Nintendo DS is an turn based RPG that mixes modern and retro elements to create a game that compliments the old style of video games, while mixing in some modern elements to avoid immediate frustration. Unfortunately, Nostalgia takes elements we don't like in retro RPGs, making some of the mechanics feel archaic, ultimately killing the experience.

The setting for Nostalgia is basically a nineteenth century/futuristic/fantasy/modern style earth. A land where airships are used for transportation, pirates attack others for no reason what-so-ever, monsters are everywhere, characters have as much depth as the nameless characters from most old school RPGs, and every word to come out of a characters mouth is cheesy, unnecessary, and laughable. The game follows the story of adventurer Eddie Brown, a kid who is trying to find his father. So he immediately goes on his airship, the The Maverick and sets out looking for him, joined by Pad, a bad ass warrior who is as shallow as everyone else in the game, but actually has the sense to bring guns on the adventure. During the course of the game, you will find more characters to join your party, but they are as interesting as the old testament.

The game has you fighting monsters using basic turn based action, going through dungeons, flying an airship, going on side quests, acquiring experience points, and gaining and upgrading skills using skill points. In the end, it's nothing new since all of these elements have been copied in hundreds upon hundreds of RPG's. That aside, everything is done solidly, it's just a shame that they couldn't "mix it up".

The visual style is very pretty, mixing fantasy and 19th century Victorian style structures. Character models look a lot like the characters in the Final Fantasy remakes, cartoony. More polish is needed however, since during cut scenes, a ridiculous amounts of awkward animations occur, whether it be that characters are moving either way to fast or slow, or the camera seems to have trouble keeping up with the action inside the cut scenes, probably due to the camera itself having Parkinson's.

The element that kills the game for me is the random battles, which make the game an endless grind that seems to make the experience painful. Tumors grow in my head when I have been in a dungeon for over 2 hours, due to random battles that appear frequently. God forbid you actually die, you will have to start over from the beginning, making a rise in tempers and damaged DS systems. Dying isn't really an issue though, since the first half of the game is so damn easy! When you reach the half point mark, the game not only becomes crazy in it's difficulty level, but actually makes the regular enemies harder than the bosses itself. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING! By the end of this game, your DS won't survive the beating you will give it due to immense frustration.

Combat is extremely simple and repetitive, since the only strategy would be mash the attack button in order to deplete the enemy's health. The enemies aren't really smart either, clearly indicated when an enemy tries to poison an already poisoned ally for the nth time. Escaping from battle is probably and option that most users will find to be a necessity if they are ever to finish a simple quest. However, the further you get into the game, the more abilities you are allowed to have and upgrade, putting some variety in the gameplay. Unfortunately, they use so much MP, that you will probably need to use many MP recovery potions before you can reek havoc among the enemies.

Nostalgia isn't a bad RPG, it just does something that is unnecessary. Too many games are basic turn based RPG dungeon crawlers, resulting in the demand for the games to be very low. Why they took the retro theme way too far is beyond me, but archaic mechanics aside, I enjoyed Nostalgia. While I was definitely frustrated at times, the game offers a solid (if simple) turn based RPG, and fans of retro gaming will enjoy this experience. Those looking for innovation and an outstanding RPG such as Final Fantasy IV will want to avoid this like the plague, since it offers nothing new to contribute and lacks the depth of most games in this genre.



Due to my overwhelming assignments for this month, I'm afraid that the amount of post I will be able to dish out will greatly decrease. I will be able to review A Christmas Carol, Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized, Nostalgia, and other releases. I will have to put Critic Cast on hold due to many technical problems, but I probably will be producing episodes next week. I am excited about Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized, since it boasts 6 player online multiplayer, survival mode, and even ranking. Hopefully this will be an experience that will inspire more FPSs on the DS.

Rock Band with Legos


Sorry for my lack of posts this week. I have been studying like crazy, and reviewing quite a few games. One of them is Lego Rock Band for the DS. Lego Rock Band is a title that I looked upon with enormous skepticism. My first impression upon hearing of this product, was that it was just going to be another failed attempt at making a rhythm game for the Nintendo DS and was probably going to be a shameful product that would only succeed in tricking the consumer into wasting precious dollars on trash. Thank god I'm an idiot, since Lego Rock Band is possibly one of the greatest music games for the DS.
The core game is basically the same as Rock Band Unplugged for the DS. You will be using the up-left-x-y buttons to hit the notes as they appear on the screen. The twist is that you will be forced to change instruments using the left and right shoulder buttons in order to switch instruments. While it may sound that this will make the game hard, it isn't for the following reason: When hitting a certain amount of bricks, a purple brick appears, allowing the instrument user to be "happy", allowing you to switch to other instruments, making their users happy. Doing this brings up your multiplier, allowing you to score more points. Unfortunately, the happiness of a certain instrument user will not be infinite, meaning that you will be switching around instruments, attempting to keep everyone happy, in turn, keeping up your multiplier.
The learning curve is small, since learning everything should take about 15 minutes, allowing you to dive right into the game immediately. Most time will be spent playing tour mode, a mode which has you create your own band, customizing everything from their face to the pants they are wearing, buy vehicles which allow you to access more venues and challenges, hire staff, and customize your "den". Unfortunately, the main problem with the game is the fact that their is only 25 songs total, making tour mode extremely repetitious. I wished that they somehow found a way to add more songs, or at least had a temporary song of the week downloaded with an online connection, allowing for the song list to be extended. All of this is due to the small capabilities of the DS, which unfortunately makes every music game on the DS a short lived experience.

The choice of songs is superb, with songs such as Swing Swing (All American Rejects), So What (Pink), We Are the Champions (Queen), and even I Want You Back (Jackson 5). It's very unfortunate that the game only has 25 songs to offer.

If their is another huge flaw that makes the game suffer, it would be the difficulty. Apparently, the developers decided to do the tremendously stupid act of making the game geared to more younger players, making skilled players in general immediately jump to the Hard and Expert mode. Players can't even fail a song, not even on the hard or expert difficulty setting. It's nice that they are gearing it to their younger audience, but it leaves those who actually play Rock Band with less content and a small challenge.
The visuals are easily the weakest point of the game. The 3D effect are acceptable, with Legos that animate nicely, but the environments are in desperate need of polish.

The multiplayer is probably the best part of the experience, since 4 players can team up, using local wireless connection, to play with each other. While their is no cooperative tour mode, making the experience pretty shallow, the multiplayer will keep groups of friends occupied for a hours on end (or at least until they run out of songs to play). In fact, I realize that this is a feature that Rock Band: Unplugged for the PSP lacked, making it a step up from the PSP version.

Lego Rock Band is one of the best rhythm games for the DS. Sure there's room for improvement, but I believe that the developers can achieve a major landmark with a sequel. Being a person who has searched for rhythm games on the DS, I can safely say that this is one title that music fans should not miss.

RPG's on the DS-Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time


An ideal action RPG for the Nintendo DS.

After playing Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (Review coming soon...), I have been on a search for the perfect action RPG on the DS. One that has lots of content, online mulitplayer, a solid combat system, and a unique RPG system. While my search was a complete failure, I did find a few action RPGs that actually were fun. One of them is Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time. What makes it unique, besides the long title, is the fact that it's the only solid action RPG, with online multiplayer. This feature not only increases the playability of this great title, but also adds lots of variety to an otherwise basic RPG.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (I will call it FFCCET from now on because I am tired of writing this insanely big title.), foll0ws the story of your custom adventurer. You have the choice of four classes: Clavets, Lilties, Selkies, and Yukes. All of them look like childish midgets, but it adds to the charm. The story has your character finishing a coming of age ceremony, but after the festivities, one of the villagers gets a disease which will lead to her inevitable death. You are sent to find a cure, prompting a creepy German child molester, to destroy a crystal, resulting in your whole entire family disappearing. It is then your job to beat his ass inside out, and get back your family by finding the shards of the crystals. The story is basically an excuse just to go around killing monsters, but you probably will want to kill the German child molester to a pulp, since he wiped out your family after discovering about your sick village member.

The game has you going around to various locations with your basic hack and slash RPG formula, that has been done throughout the Crystal Chronicle series. This time around though, all the controls, combat system, leveling up, item management, and graphics have been refined. While their is the occasional quirk, it will take much more to stop you from playing this addicting title. The game does allow you to create an AI based team, giving you the option of actually controling members of the team. The AI has improved, but not by much, since they are pretty damn useless when it comes to puzzles, combat, or basic survival. They will assist you, but don't expect much from them.

The real hook however, is the multiplayer. Owning one copy of the game, allows players to access co-op online. This probably one of the greatest multiplayer feats I have seen in a VERY longtime. Playing online makes the experience ten times more enjoyable...unless the lag occurs. Lag is a bit of a problem when 4 players worldwide play co-op, since it seems to be WAY to much for the system. If you do keep the game continental though, you shouldn't encounter any problems though...hopefully.

The final flaw that stops this game for ever achieving the great recognition it deserves, would be the puzzles. Puzzles abrubtly stop the action, and when they take place during the action, they become archaic. They are usually simple, such as push a block on a lever, but when they become complex, it really slows the pacing of the game down, causing some people to actually want to stop playing. If you can ignore the puzzles, however, you will probably enjoy this game.

FFCCET is a great title for the DS. While it isn't going to win any awards, or ever match up to games such as The World Ends With You, it will entertain you for hours on end. While $30 is a bit much, it probably won't dissapoint you.

Land of the Wild Things


Where the Wild Things Are is a dull remake of the famous 1963 picture book.
Where the Wild Things Are is an example of what happens when you take a beloved picture book, and turn it into an hour and 40 minute film. It has good intentions in its depiction of the mind of a child, but fails to remember the basic aspects of cinema. Whether it be that the film is too dull to keep anyone engrossed, or that each scene is overacted, Where the Wild Things Are is a clear indication that Spike Jonze really needs to spend some time mourning over the abomination he has released in theatres.

Where the Wild Things Are begins with a disturbing scene of a child screaming at the top of his lungs while chasing a dog with a knife. This is Max (Played by Max Records), a kid who feels like he has been neglected, and has resorted to creating an imaginary fantasy world inhabited by giant, juvenile creatures. One would expect the film to include Max befriending the creatures and discovering that the world doesn't revolve around him, however it takes a disturbing twist when Max threatens to kill all the creatures unless they crown him king. The use of addictive substances may have inspired this tragic turn of events.

The performances don't help either. Max Records has the problem of overacting, for his script mostly consists of screams. The voicing for the "wild things" are also overdone, but not as much as Max, thankfully. The costumes are bizarre, seeing that they all look like Muppets on steroids.

Another flaw is the obscure storytelling, which fails to give enough details on the monsters. Each monster is frivolous, and unfortunately have the depth of a kiddie pool. "Why are the monsters unhappy?" is a question I asked throughout the film, as it gives us only their personality descriptions and not the history of these creatures. This is a missed opportunity, considering it would have made this film interesting. The film should have included more dialogue, and less of the dull antics of Max and his "wild things."

I sense that Where the Wild Things Are has a lot of heart. Unfortunately, while its means well, it simply isn't interesting enough to ever be something that any child or adult could enjoy. For a relatively short movie, it feels surprisingly long and dull. You can have more fun creating your own imaginary world, a world where this film doesn't exist.

Moore Assaults Capitalism


Michael Moore delivers a hilarious and powerful documentary about the corruption of our American economic system.

Love or hate him, there is no doubt that Michael Moore is a key voice in political and social activism. After the brilliance of Bowling for Columbine and the tragic (if hilarious) Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11, Capitalism: A Love Story premiered with high expectations. It doesn't match up to its predecessors, but it stands on its own with powerfully tragic scenarios, a strong (if one-sided) conclusion and typical Moore-style cinematography that has defined this filmmaker since Roger & Me.

The film is an argument against capitalism which he believes, enables the upper class to take advantage of the middle and lower class. Armed with shocking facts, critical analysis, humor, and witty dialogue, Moore not only criticise our current economic system, but launches a war on it, assaulting it with with moral questions, statistics and heartbreaking interviews with the victims of this system. It is likely that regardless of your opinion of Michael Moore, you will at least believe that our economic system must be changed by the end of this film.

The interviews with the American citizens aren't as moving as Sicko or Fahrenheit 9/11, but it isn't the interviews, but rather conspiracies that are the spotlight of this film. Each one will either shock you or drive you to tears, another trademark of Moore's films. The film shows appalling incidents, such as privately controlled juvenile detention centers gone awry, and shocking regulations or documents that will make your jaw drop. Moore criticizes the people behind the economic corruption, armed with banter and cleverness, using a calm monologue to destroy the image of the wrongdoers.

Unfortunately Moore's opinions tend to be a bit extreme (typical of Moore's personality), which is likely to anger Moore haters, capitalists, and "right wing nut jobs." Moore's film isn't wholly accurate either, since he frequently manipulates the footage, causing lots of intentional misinterpretations between the interviewee and the viewer. This probably will anger a few people, but it does assist Moore in making a strong argument.

Michael Moore doesn't disappoint with his slam on our economic system. He does go a bit extreme with his opinions, but he does make valid claims. The director seems to know what he is talking about, as he gives the viewer the impression that he is a man of the people. While I don't always agree with him, I believe that Michael Moore candidly speaks for the American people.

The Informant! Vs. ADM


Matt Damon's performance gives The Informant! the momentum to be an enjoyable experience.

Matt Damon is back from killing countless people in the Bourne series, to his new film The Informant!, a retelling of the true story of Mark Whitacre (Damon), an executive turned whistle blower for ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), a company found to be involved in illegal activities. The story is pretty much about the pressures that Mark Whitacre goes through. If you are expecting a slapstick, than you are mistaken, as The Informant!, is a dark comedy, a tragic story of a man who nearly goes insane for the pressures of keeping his intentions a secret from his company.

The question that the films presents is not how Mark Whitacre undermined his own company, but why? Don't be expecting an answer, because unfortunately you won't get one. The movie acknowledges that Mark Whitacre was making thousands of dollars at ADM, and was actually going to be better off if he had kept his mouth shut about the illegal dealings of ADM. The film hints that Mark Whitacre has reasons as a result of his megalomania and stupidity, but they are never really explored, which is unfortunate.

Throughout the flick, Whitacre has a monologue that usually serves as an example of how insane he is. The monologue usually has little to no relevance on the events that are taking place, whether it be talking about polar bears during an ADM meeting, or talking about how he would like to go fishing with one of the government agents. This is probably the highlight of the film, as these monologues are hysterical and numerous, with nearly every scene having one of these addresses.

The acting of Matt Damon as Whitacre is over the top and hilarious, Damon even going to the extent of gaining tons of weight after gracefully leaping off buildings and beating up assassins in The Bourne Ultimatum. The performance of Scott Bakula as agent Brian Shephard is solid and interesting, but won't leave as much of an impression as Whitacre.

The Informant! is a hilarious, if woeful tale of the one man who stands up against a force of great power. The film tries to be funny and tragic at the same time, which makes it difficult to ascribe the film to a single genre. However, the performance of the chubby Matt Damon, the engaging story, and the hilarious monologue of Whitacre makes it a great cinematic experience.

The Problem with Fullmetal Alchemist: Conquerors of Shambala


I LOVE the Fullmetal Alchemist series. It is my favorite TV show to ever be released. Many must be thinking how naive I am for worshipping an anime series, but I say this with great pride. I love the messages, characters, plot, humor, effects, and action that is pretty much in every episode of this series. So when I heard of the movie, I naturally went insane. After watching it, I fell into an odd depression. It wasn't that the movie was bad, but the fact that it was melancholy, and offered more questions than answers. So since this movie is going to be released on Blu-Ray, I decided to not do a review, but a critical analysis of problems with this film. While I saw that it did get generally positive reviews and I greatly enjoyed the film, I must offer a critical analysis of it.(Warning, contains spoilers and referances to the film that only those who have actually watched it may understand!)

1. Characters
One of the great things that Fullmetal Alchemist has been known for is the superb characters. Edward and Alphonse Elric are a great team, Ed being the one who acts mature, but is a hothead inside, with Alphonse being the voice of reason in the duo. Even the supporting cast is equally strong with hilarious characters such as Alex Louis Armstrong, to very broken and complicated characters, such as Scar. Unfortunately, the movie tries to do the impossible task of fitting each character into the 1 hour and 50 minute movie, while offering new ones. This present itself as a huge problem, since side characters are given little to no screen time, and new characters really lack the impact that the main characters of the series have had. If the film was longer, restrained itself from offering so many new characters, and focused on the ones that were in the series, than this could have really been a strong aspect of the film.

2. Longevity
I already have mentioned this, but the film is simply too short. 1 hour and 50 minutes, is barely enough time to have all the characters explained in great detail without sacrificing story, causing many events too short, and many characters too lack much substance. The main villain is a prime example, as she has screen time that is under 30 minutes, and gives a reason to her evil doings that is sub par to the reasons of other evil doers "doings" in this series. If the film was by any chance between two hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes, than the problem would have definitely been solved.

3. Ending
(Sigh)...What really caused me to view this film in such a disappointing manner, was the ending. Not everything is tied up, most of the results of the film are left for speculation, too much detail is spent on the Elric brothers, and the most of the main side characters are not even given a hint of explanation over their whereabouts. Here are a list of things that aren't explained:

  1. Relationship of Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye.
  2. What happened to Central after the final battle?
  3. The political situation in Central.
  4. How does Winry feel?
  5. Does Alphonse join the military?
  6. The relationship between the Ishbalans and the State Military.
  7. Is Dante dead?
  8. Why does Edward cause Alphone Hiedrich and Hohemheim Elric's sacrifice to be in vain when coming back to Earth.(Makes sense if you watch the film?
  9. What is the ultimate fate of Ed and Al?
  10. Etc.(I'm serious, there's more!)

The main problem is that everything is left to speculation, and while it does leave many people with lots of post film discussion, it leaves even more people disappointed with the lack of questions answered.

In conclusion I feel that if the writers focused on trying to offer more answers than questions, than I would love FMA Conqueror of Shambala. Instead, I'm greatly disappointed by the film. While it's still a great film, it angered me when I discovered that they were in fact, shortening the film. Why they did this is completely beyond me, but I am willing to forgive them since it's a solid entry and finale to the FMA series. So if you want to buy the Blu-Ray edition of this film, be my guest. Hoping that the finale to the manga and FMA Brotherhood is better than this, I sign off as I attempt to heal the editors of the swine flu, using human transmutation of course.

Buy Now!

District 9




Neill Blomkamp simply stuns by cleverly blending action, science fiction, and social issues in his first film, District 9.

For years filmmakers have brought forth creations that are concerned with the idea of man making first contact with aliens. Whether it be aliens seeking peace or destruction, Hollywood seems to be clinging to the obsession of humans meeting forms of unearthly life. District 9 is a brilliant science fiction film that implements social issues, creating a scenario that isn’t man vs. alien, but something a little bit more complicated.

In 1982, an alien ship appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Inside was an alien race that was suffering from malnutrition, so they are taken from their ship, and taken to a government camp called District 9. After about 20 years, much has changed, as the aliens now live in slums, a private military contractor called MNU are now in charge of policing and relocating the aliens, and the people of South Africa want the aliens off their land. MNU has assigned Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley) to command the relocation of the “Prawn” (Derogatory name given to the aliens). Unfortunately for Wikus, he gets into contact with an alien substance that causes him to start transforming “prawn”, making him one of the most wanted and valuable fugitive in the world. Friendless and left with no where else to go, Wikus then hides in District 9, where he hopes to stop the transformation before it takes full effect.

The acting of Copley as Wikus is outstanding, as he cleverly portrays an ignorant bumbling, if reasonable, worker. It is evident in the first few scenes, that Wikus dislikes the aliens, but eventually grows to understand their predicament once he discovers the awful crimes that his own organization has committed towards the creatures. Wikus’s character is very interesting, and seems to grow more unique as time passes. If their is one flaw, it would be the script Copley is given. While it is solid, it seems that every second Wikus yells seem to be the F-word, almost as if he loves the verb. While the F-Bomb can be entertaining and bad-ass at times, it does get extremely annoying when used as the second word to come out of the characters mouth. Wikus calls everyone he meets an “F-er” and seems to have no regard for a persons feeling at times. In fact, that may be the reason why everyone wants to kill him.

While in most “first contact” films, the basic theme usually is man VS. alien. District 9 is a film where the protagonist and antagonist is left for speculation. The aliens do commit crimes and kill innocent people , the humans oppress the prawns, even going to the extent of eating them in hope of retaining the “power” of the extra terrestrials.

The clever use of the camera is evident in the first few scenes of the cinematic experience. Mixing documentary style footage, with security tapes, and standard third person footage, the film does a great job of making this seem like an actual event. It also adds some little touches, such as blood splashing on the camera, that give this film a very brutal, and real feel.

The action scenes also stand out, as they contain fast paced shooting, extremely cool and creative weapons, remarkable special effects, and the coolest deaths I have ever seen. Whether it be people simply blowing up, in a bloody if oddly clean way, to their arms and heads being blown up one by one in the same manner, the death scenes are gruesome, shocking, and very fun. The weapons range from your simple AK-47’s, to mecha soldiers that seem to be inspired from the gundams, leading to many battles that make Michael Bay’s work seem very uneventful.

Niell Blomkamp has done an outstanding job, as it surprises me how a filmmaker with such a small track record could create such an outstanding film. If you are looking for a film that is fun, brilliant, and provokes much post-movie discussion, than District is one that must be watched.

The Time Traveler’s Wife


AM:TP final

3 stars

The Time Traveler’s Wife is a qualified, if sloppily written, romance between time traveler and wife.
Having never read the novel of the same name, I looked upon The Time Traveler’s Wife and foresaw misery and shame. The movie seemed like a typical romance mixed with science fiction, a combination that would generally ensure instant doom. Surprisingly, the film cleverly blends these two genres, creating a decent, if flawed film.

The story follows the story of Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana), a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to randomly shift through time as he attempts to maintain a relationship with Clare Abshire (Rachael McAdams), a woman who must deal with the surprising departures of her husband during their marriage. The plot fails to explain why Henry has this disease, instead focusing too much on the relationship between the odd couple. The bond is interesting, but it isn’t as absorbing as the infrequent time traveling scenarios are.

The acting of Bana is solid, but the character of Henry lacks any interesting qualities, besides the fact that he can travel through time. McAdams also gives a fair performance, but the character of Clare is an insufferable airhead. This is made clear during a conversation between Henry and Clare, when she suggests that there will be a cure for time traveling in the near future, showing just how silly the writing for this film can get.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is ultimately saved by its brilliant, if seldom, time traveling bits. Sure the movie can get a bit absurd, due to illogical storytelling, but it succeeds at making each of these unique scenes brilliant. Whether it’s the main character visiting the past version of his wife, or the future version of his daughter, the movie displays moments that ultimately save it from being a wretched film. A memorable scene definitely has to be when he meets his deceased mother in a subway. Rather than go crazy and try to explain to his mother what happened to him, Henry decides to casually get information from her, giving her cleverly concealed hints that he is her son. The reason for these scenes being so witty is the way the writers applied these scenarios, as all of these scenes are meaningful and never used as filler.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is what a science fiction romance should be: intelligent, funny and touching. While the film fails at offering explanations to Henry’s cosmic condition, forgiveness can be given when you see some really touching moments, such as someone meeting his future daughter. The Time Traveler’s Wife is primarily a romance, for it merely sprinkles science fiction on your basic love story. It makes good use of the elements it has, and creates an ultimately enjoyable, if messy, cinematic experience.

Random Movie of the Week: Stranger than Fiction


5 stars
Since the start of the school year is coming up, I decided to watch a film that was thoughtful, leaving me with Will Ferrell's greatest movie, Stranger than Fiction. I know this is a pretty bold statement, as for Elf fans are probably going to want to burn me at stake, but after seeing truly dumb flicks such as Semi-Pro and Stepbrothers, I firmly acknowledge this film to be Ferrell’s greatest. While it isn’t his funniest, it is Ferrell’s most intelligent and thought provoking film out their. (Sorry Elf fans, it’s just that Elf wasn’t thought provoking at all.)
Released in 2006, Stranger than Fiction follows the story of Harold Crick (Will Ferrell), an IRS auditor who hates his job, deals with everyone hating him (because he is an IRS Auditor) and lives a VERY routine lifestyle. All of this changes when during a seemingly normal day, Harold hears a voice! A voice that not only appears out of nowhere, but seems to accurately narrate his everyday life. At first he thinks he’s crazy, but then he starts to believe that maybe he is part of a story. Unfortunately, the voice says that the end of the story will be his imminent death. This causes him to freak out and eventually seek help from Professor Jules Hilbert(Dustin Hoffman) who’s knowledge of literature is put to use to stop Harold’s death and figure out what type of story he is in. Meanwhile, writer Karen Eifel (Emma Thompson) is trying to figure out how to kill off Harold Crick, hero in her new book, Death and Taxes.
The performance Dustin Hoffman is solid, but Will Ferrell does a surprisingly good job as the guy who knows of his imminent death and decides to finally live the life he always dreamed. It does make you wonder why he has been wasting his time with Semi-Pro and Stepbrothers. Dustin Hoffman’s character is unremarkable, except for the fact that he is great with literature. Regardless, Dustin Hoffman does a good job with the unremarkable character he has been given. The performance that really surprised the heck out me, has definitely got to be Emma Thompson as the writer/narrator of Harold’s life. She makes killing off character seem like a chore, as for her character firmly believes that a death of a certain character must have meaning and beauty.Emma Thompson is so good at this performance, as for she captures the insanity the struggling writer goes through to conquer writer’s block and finally kill off Harold Crick.
What makes Stranger than Fiction so interesting, is that Marc Forster seems to make the film go at a slow pace, but explains everything in such good detail. Examples of this include when the narrator explains: the amount of brush strokes that Harold does while brushing his teeth, the emotional situations he goes through during life, even what it sounds like when filing papers. It’s almost like the world of Stranger than Fiction is just brimming with crucial detail, making this film feel like an actual novel.
Stranger Than Fiction is also very thought provoking, as for it just makes you want to think what you would do in Harold’s situation. It also provokes thought in the different types of literature, and questions the killing of the protagonist in literature. Whether you are interested in literature or not, Stranger than Fiction is the intelligent Will Ferrell film that I have been searching for. Call me crazy, but I actually like Will Ferrell when he is not an idiot, and actually an intelligent man with values. Thank you for proving that you are more than that hick from Talladega Nights Ferrell!



3 stars
Hayao Miyazaki is back with his new film, Ponyo, a film about a fish that turns into a girl. The premise may sound stupid, but Miyazaki uses his "magical" writers, animators, and mind to make this an experience that is cute and unique. Unfortunately, Miyazaki is not perfect, as for the flawed storytelling make this an adventure that is so hard to understand, that kids will have a hard time comprehending what lays before them on the big screen.
Ponyo is not a bad movie by any means, but it is an ultimately flawed if unqiue experience. Ponyo is the story of a fish named Brunnhilde, who after leaving (or escaping) from her father, meets and falls in love with a boy name Sosuke. Sosuke, vowing to protect the fish from harm, renames the fish Ponyo, and develops a special bond between man and fish.

I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully. –George W. Bush
While this may sound like the wierdest part of the movie, then you are wrong as for Hayao Miyazaki’s art style, story and concepts are known for being extremely strange. While they may hold deep meanings, the meanings are usually accessible to children and adults alike. Ponyo is an exception, as for the plot is extremely hard to follow, the message makes no sense, in fact, here is a list of possible candidates.
  • Fish can make good lovers.
  • Don’t disturb the natural balance of nature.
  • Don’t Pollute the Ocean.
  • Ham
  • The Ocean is Evil
  • The Ocean is Magic
Keep in mind that these are some of the possible candidates, as for the film is a code that must be decoded in order to fully enjoy and understand. In fact, the reason I chose these is because the film seems to only mention these things, and not go into thorough detail about them (Except for Ham, as for they go into a ridiculous amount of detail about Ham). I just don’t know what direction Miyazaki is trying to take the film, as for better storytelling and characters that were much more realistic could have gone a long to making this a masterpiece.
The artistic style is absolutely beautiful, which is expected of Hayao Miyazaki, an artist of great skill and experience. While the style does contribute to the oddness of the film, it does distinguish it from other animated feature length films. Each character is given a distinct feature that just makes Miyazaki’s world come to life on the screen.
Ponyo is a film that must be studied before enjoyed. That would be the only flaw that stops it from ever rising above Up, Coraline, or even Bolt. That is not to say that Ponyo is a bad film. It’s a film that if you do manage to understand, will be unforgettable as most of Miyazaki’s work is.

500 Days of Summer



5 stars

500 Days of Summer is a story about love, not an actual love story. Presented with a documentary style, 500 Days is the story of Tom, a man who works at a card company who always believed that he would never be happy until he finds “the one”. It is also about Summer, a woman who does not want to ever be in a relationship, who meets Tom. All of this information is told through the narrator, who successfully gives the movie a documentary like feel. The narrator is a bit creepy however, as for he does give us a lot of information about Summer, giving me the impression that he used to be her stalker.

The premise of 500 Days of Summer is pretty uninteresting, but it introduces a twist that distinguishes it from other romantic comedies. It is not the plot, but the way the story is told that makes it such a unique experience. The story is told through flashbacks and flash-forwards, as for the movie starts at day 488, and then goes back to day 250, where it then goes back further to day 1. The movie never seems to have any pattern, but just shows the most significant dates, meaning that you won’t be going through a detailed 500 day diary of how his relationship went. ( THANK GOD!!!) Other unique points would come from the fact that the film seems to have PERFECT comedic timing, leading to one of the FUNNIEST romantic comedies I have seen in years.

The acting is solid, as for none of the characters are very unique, however,it does well for what it has. The most interesting characters has definitely got to be Tom’s friend, brother and sister, as for they all seem to be just your average movie sidekicks. They usually have little influence on the story, and are just their to make you laugh. (And what a great job the film does at that.)

500 Days of Summer is an experience that many romantic comedies will never match up to. While it does have an interesting premise, the execution is perfect and unique, as for it offers unique story telling, a SHOCKING ending, great supporting characters, and a creepy narrator who successfully give this film a documentary like feel. If you have any humanity at all, please watch and enjoy this movie.

Random Movie of the Week: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington


One of my favorite movies to come out during the golden age of 1939, has definitely got to be Frank Capra’s finest, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Having seen this movie recently, I realized that the timing can’t be any more perfect, for incidents of corruption in our government have been numerous recently(Blagojevich, Stevens, etc). Mr. Smith Goes to Washington scared the crap out of many people, because of it’s depiction of a government that could easily be influenced by corrupt politicians who are in positions of great power. In fact, this depiction scares the hell out of me, as for it shows how fragile democracy is and the results if the power of democracy is abused.

The death of a Senator Sam Foley has governor Hubert Hopper (Guy Kibbee)looking for a new Senator. Unfortunately, his corrupt political boss, Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold), wants him to choose a handpicked stooge while the public wants him to choose a reformer. When he finally makes a decision, he decides to choose Jefferson Smith (James Stewart), a naive and inexperienced Senator, who has the ideas of a true reformer. It is through his experience as a Senator, where he discovers the corruption of the government.
What makes Mr. Smith Goes to Washington such a great movie, is the fact that it accurately depicts corruption in Washington. It also portrays the senate as human beings rather than perfect beings, which really is something that series and films like The Bourne Series, State of Play, and many other political thrillers and dramas would take inspiration from.
For those who are interested in politics, this is a film that you must watch. What makes this such an appropriate film, is the fact that many politicians have been discovered to be involved with corruption. Let this film remind us how fragile democracy is.

Angels and Demons (7 Angels out of 10)


Having watched the Angels and Demon's predecessor, The Da Vinci Code, I did not expect this one to be remotely good, or interesting for that matter. The flaws of The Da Vinci Code was probably its ludicrous and EXTREMELY dull story, to storytelling that made the movie make no sense what-so-ever. So my expectations for this movie where extremely low. But when I actually got around to watching the movie, I had an extremely pleasant surprise.

The movie revolves around Robert Langdon as he investigates the capture of 4 Vatican members by a terrorist group called the Illuminati, who are bent on destroying the Vatican City with an Anti Matter Bomb. Tom Hanks does return as Robert Langdon, and his performance is average, if a little bland at times. The story is also something of a complete opposite of it's predecessor. While The Da Vinci Code was hard to understand and dull, Angels and Demons is interesting and easier, if still a little hard, to understand.

The story has Robert Langdon attempting to save these church members, by running around in a few of the locations around The Vatican City. Each location has many puzzles for some reason, and usually has Langdon pointing at an area and explaining what the answer to the mysterious puzzle is. The flaw in the movie that stops it from rising above other films, is the lack of sense this movie makes, as Langdon somehow has the brains to figure out puzzles that are not only implausible, but make no sense what so ever. While this flaw damages the image of Angels and Demons, it doesn't deliver fatal blows to this otherwise enjoyable and riveting movie.

Angels and Demons is a film that is not only enjoyable, but also riveting and horrifying at times. It is only damaged by one aspect, a ludicrous plot that you may find to be a little weird, but it's an unforgettable experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Star Trek (10 Warps out of Ten) (The Best Movie of 2009)


Having pretty much been a Trekkie most of my life, I was naturally excited by this movie. I wasn't expecting it to be a masterpiece, but I did expect it to be at least good. What I got was not only great, but what I would also call a mind blowing experience.

Star Trek starts off with an opening scene that shows the birth of James T. Kirk, the death of his father, and certain events that lead to extremely cool looking battles, that are not only bad-ass, but keep you at the edge of your seat. I usually don't give movies credit for cool looking effects, but these are not cool-looking effects, these are the best visual effects I have seen in any Sci Fi Movie. The action sequences are not only chaotic, but so freakin intense, that I was actually awed by the scale of these battles.

The plot follows the story of James T. Kirk, before he became Captain of the enterprise. What really does stand out is the characters. Each character has a personality that gives them a sense of realism. Kirks rebelious hate of being told what to do, McCoy's constant sense of negativity, and Spock's constant problems with hiding emotions, breathes life into these characters.

Star Trek, is a phenomenom that completely changed the culture of our world. The original series may have not gotten the attention it deserved, but the series sparked 5 new series, and a dozen movies that really made this franchise successful. This movie, is clearly the high point of the franchise. It has an extremly well done story with well done characters that engage in the most bad ass action scenes ever. Regardless of your knowledge of this franchise, this is a movie that you shouldn't pass up.

Waterloo Records 9/10 (Great Place to Buy Music)


Austin is known as "The Live Music Capital of the World". With many concerts and music festivals, denying this would be impossible. Austin's culture revolves around the creation and distribution of music. So me, not being such a fan of concerts or music festivals, decided to locate a record shop. My search led me to the famous Waterloo Records, and it was not in vain. As I declare, that Waterloo Records is the best record shop in Austin From an extensive library, to the amazing prices, Waterloo Records is the main area to buy music.

State of Play 9/10 (A Great Example of A Political Thriller)


Movies about politics are exciting. From conspiracies to decisions that are made by leaders of our countries, political thrillers always ask the question, "What if?" and come up with plots that are usually involved with corrupt political leaders. These films always question our system of government, and usually leave you thinking. State of Play is an example on how you make these movies. With all the intrigue and mystery that most political thrillers need, State of Play makes it self stand out with unique characters, great writing, and a gripping story.

State of Play stars Russel Crowe, who plays Cal McAffrey, a charismatic reporter investigating a series of murders linked to his lifelong friend, Congressman Steven Collins played by Ben Affleck. Russel Crowe and Ben Affleck's performances are extremely well done, the addition of great writing, and a gripping story enhances the films overall quality, keeping even those mildly interested in politics interested.

If their was one flaw with this film, it would definitely have to be to be one of the plot twist. The story, being amazing as it is, has a few twists that I found a little unnecessary, but not fatal or injuring to the overall plot in anyway. State of Play is an example that most political thrillers should use. It not only offers a great cast, but incredible writing and a great plot that is both interesting and thrilling. If you are looking for a movie to watch, I completely recommend this movie to you.

Knowing 3.5/10 (Extremely Dissapointing)


Knowing is one of those films that I really expected to be great. It had a great premise of one man knowing all the disasters of the world and his attempt of trying to stop those disasters. It also had a great question of does destiny exist, or does stuff in our world just happen. With the great premise, I had high expectations for this film, expecting only the best from this movie. But what I got not only failed to meet expectations, it made me realize how bad disaster movies can become.

Knowing starts off with a great beginning. It reveals just enough to keep you hooked to the movie itself. The story begins with a girl named Lucinda Embry, played by Lara Robinson. Lara Robinson successfully captures the creepiness of Lucinda, but little dialogue is told. Lucinda Embry writes a document with numbers on it that predict every natural disaster. The reason for this is not revealed immediately, but it helps give some tension. The document is then put in a time capsule, where the film flash forwards to John Koestler, played by Nicholas Cage, and his son, Caleb Koestler, played by Chandler Canterbury. While Cage's performance is acceptable, Canterbury's lack's emotion and just falls flat. The character he plays is also more of an annoyance and rips off Cole Sear from the Sixth Sense.

John Koestler is a widowed teacher who works at MIT. He tries to connect with his son, but feels that Caleb is in need of a mother figure. Caleb is the emotionless son of John who has a very rocky relationship with his father, he also goes to the exact same school that Lucinda goes to. The school finds the time capsule, and gives the creations of the students from the past to the students of today. Caleb gets the document that Lucinda created and finds it to just be a jumble of random numbers. He gives it to his father because he believes it may be some math puzzle. John looks through the numbers and after one night of studying, he not only discovers what it means, but when the disasters occur!!! This implausible plot device really shows how ludicrous the plot grows to be.

Sooner or later, these events occur and it seems this is the only light in this dark horrible film. The disaster scenes in this film are ridiculously cool and really do show how insane chaos can get in these mass disasters. I don't want to mention them because if there was any reason to watch this god awful movie, it would definitely be these scenes of mass chaos. If you want to see these scenes, look them up on you tube.

After these scenes, the plot takes a huge ride to ludo ville. Nothing makes sense, random characters are thrown into the mix, aliens take part in this, and the film decides to go further with this mess, and throws in the apocalypse. At this point I was in my seat angry. Angry at the director, producers, aliens, Rose Byrne, Lara Robinson(who plays further further parts which are bland and horrid), Chandler Canterbury and the depressing and ludicrous conclusion, that just makes me want to long for the end of the world. This movie had a great premise, but was hampered by all the random crap that they threw into the mix. The acting is too serious with people screaming for no reason, to people just being emotionless idiots. Nothing is good and it's initial question of whether destiny exist or does stuff happen, is lost in this mess of a movie.

movie had great ideas, but was shot down by countless faults, by the time this movie ended, my anger at the people who created this film was absolute. Disaster movies have always been known for failing, but I did not know they could fail this badly. This film had a lot of potential, but a ludicrous plot is not the answer to a great concept.