Tuesday, June 28

Movie Review - Hobgoblins 2

    How could Hobgoblins possibly have a sequel? Wait, who am I kidding? Troll has three sequels. Wait...there's another Troll movie? I'll get to that eventually, but the fact is, plenty of bad movies have sequels and remakes. Heck, there's a movie that's literally called Violent S#!t (1989,) and it has three sequels (the fourth released last year.)

    I recently found out about Hobgoblins 2's existence. There aren't too many reviews for this one around, so I figured I'd take a shot. I still wanted to see the first Hobgoblins first though, and it was well worth it. Will Hobgoblins 2 entertain the same way? Let's find out.

    THEY SENT A CAR ACCIDENT VICTIM TO A MENTAL HOSPITAL! What else do I need to tell you? OK I'm getting slightly ahead of myself, sorry. Some company named Halfway 2 Sanity pictures was behind the movie, but I can't find anything about the company on Google - and we all know that's always a good sign.

Monday, June 20

Movie Review - Hobgoblins

    Ah, Hobgoblins. I've been planning a while to review this one. It's supposedly similar to Troll 2 as it's a hilariously bad horror movie that isn't even close to scary. Originally released in 1988, the movie stars a bunch of no-name actors that have hardly shown up in anything since. Yup, sounds like Troll 2 to me, but is it as good/bad?

    The movie starts with a grainy outdoors shot of an old security guard walking beside his workplace. He heads toward a teenaged security guard sitting at the building's gate and listening to music. The older guard starts telling the teen off for listening to music when he should be working. The phone suddenly rings, but when the old man picks it up, he gets nothing.

    "Didn't you hear the phone ringing?" the older guard asks

    "No I didn't," the younger guard replies. Of course you didn't, it wasn't even ringing. Great way to start the movie off, by showing us how poor the sound editing is.

    Eventually, they start their rounds. They walk through what seems to be an abandoned building and into the vault area. The old man starts telling the teen about how the building used to be a great studio of some kind. He also tells the teen not to wander into the vault. The old man leaves to talk with their boss, and guess what the teen does...he goes straight for the vault. So utterly predictable.

    The boss seems like the stereotypical dick boss taken to the extreme, berating the older security guard for taking a while to get to his office, despite it only taking 20 seconds of movie time. He then complains that nobody answered the phone earlier. OK you douche-bag, if both of you had a 2-way radio, why bother with the phone if the guards can't always be at the gate?

    Cut back to the teen, who's now opening the vault and walking in, complete with sinister music. He hears some sort of non-human growling and asks,

    "Is somebody there?"

    Cut back to the other two in the office. The older guard hears static on his radio and barges out, looking mildly concerned. The acting is more wooden than an 30-year-old skid.

Saturday, June 11

Movie Review - Hero Retreat

    This week's review is going to be a bit different, because not only did a friend of mine make it, but it will likely never see a commercial release. My friend, who wants to get into filmmaking, gave me permission to review this here. He probably shouldn't have though, because I enjoy nothing more than destroying the hopes and dreams of my friends (partial Cinema Snob quote there.)

    In all seriousness though, I'm pretty sure this was just a high school student project. Was I entertained by it? Sure, but I doubt anyone who doesn't know those involved will feel the same. Enough about my friend here though, let's talk about Hero Retreat.

Wednesday, June 8

X-Men first class

    As I've said in the past, I enjoyed the first two movies but hated X-Men 3. Even worse was the abomination of Wolverine: Origins - which was almost as bad as the comic book series that gave Wolverine a mystical blade and introduced Romulus. Let's not get into that since this technically isn't a comic book blog though. I came into this movie with no expectations whatsoever. I wanted to give it a chance, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up considering how much I disliked the last two movies. I was ready to give up on the X-men movies if this one sucked, so how was it?

    I thought it was good. It's definitely leagues ahead of Wolverine: Origins, and maybe better than X-Men 2. I'll have to see it again in a few months to be sure, but I enjoyed myself enough. While the movie shows the beginning of the X-men (in the movie's universe anyway,) First Class is more about the relationship between Professor X and Magneto than anything else. The casting and acting was strong throughout, from Beast's self-consciousness about his appearance to Magneto's inner rage. The story ties into the cold war and feels both epic and believable. That said, it's not perfect.

    My main complaint is that the film's climax felt somewhat uneven. At times, the action was fast and intense, at other times it dragged on a little. This is especially true with Magneto's final confrontation with Sebastian Shaw, although I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet.

    Overall, I was satisfied and my faith in the franchise has been restored. If you liked the previous movies, or the comics, I'd recommend this one.

Saturday, June 4

Game Review - Terminator: Salvation

    I started playing this game not too long ago, having found it in a bargain bin for real low cheap. As a fan of the first two terminator movies, I was always curious about Terminator Salvation, but I still haven't gotten around to watching it.

    I've played several Terminator games in the past, and to sum it up, they've all sucked hard. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines for the PS2 is simply horrid, Terminator: The Redemption is unfairly trial and error, and the NES game...the less said the better. Is this game any better?

    Right off the bat this game feels low budget and rushed. Even though most movie games now include at least some of the movie cast, you can tell right away that nobody from the movie was involved with the voices in the game. It's just your average cover shooter with weak friendly AI. You fight against several hovering robots before you reach a regular terminator. Here is where I had to stop playing for a while. Not because they were too difficult, but because I encountered some sort of crashing bug. The game crashed and I had to restart my PS3. I turned the game back on, tried to load my checkpoint, and it crashed again. Yup, within 3 minutes of gameplay, I encountered a crashing bug that forces me to restart my system every time I try to load the game.

10 out of 10.

    Well, deleting my saved game and restarting fixed the problem. Even so, it's a four hour game and the only multiplayer available is split-screen co-op. In other words, it's simply not worth the space on your shelf, even if you get it for free (that's coming from someone who owns both Superman for the N64 and Superman Returns for the Xbox 360.) It had potential, and the graphics fairly decent, but there's absolutely nothing special about this game. Honestly, I'm fairly disappointed that there wasn't more to make fun of here.

Two word review - skip it