Saturday, November 10, 2012

Yay or Nay? Rereleasing movies in 3D

There has been a new trend on the rise over the past few years in which major studios will take some of their best known and best loved movies and rerelease them in theaters for the (insert multiple of 10) anniversary. The most recent ones of course, being Titanic, Star Wars, and many of Disney's classic movies of the 90's. While I do think that sounds great, there is a slight problem that I have with it: They are all in 3D. I've already made it clear how I feel about the format, so you can already tell where this is going. Here's my problem, 3D is such an expensive tool and hardly ever does it actually pay off. The best uses of it have oddly enough been in animated films, rather than big action pictures like Avatar or The Avengers. My real question is why? Why would they feel the need to convert it to shitty 3D when they could easily just say "Hey guys! We are going to put Jurassic Park back into the theaters... Go see it!" It would cost the studios next to nothing, and it's not like they are reshowing movies that didn't score well at the box office. The movies I listed above are all ones that everyone and their mother have scene, and I guarantee you we would have no problem paying to see them again on the big screen. You don't need to convert them to 3D to give us the incentive  we loved these movies when we first saw them 10, 20 years ago, and we'll love them just as much now. If anything, it gives younger viewers the feeling of what it felt like to see it for the first time on the big screen, and for older viewers, it brings back those old memories of when they first saw it. In fact, that's exactly what they did when they released movies like Memento, Scarface and Lord of the Rings, and people went to go see them. Not as many, mind you, but that had more to do with the fact that only a few theaters were showing Memento, and it wasn't very widely advertised. I only know about it because I saw it on Chris Nolan's fan page on facebook. But that's beside the point. So why am I bringing this up? Well, I just saw an ad that said they are going to be putting Jurassic Park back into the theaters in April. At first, I thought "Wow, this is awesome!" I freaking loved those movies when I saw them in 4th grade on DVD, just imagine how awesome they would look on a huge ass theater screen... But then I saw that it was being converted to 3D, and again, I just had to question what the point of it was. Especially with a movie like Jurassic Park. 3D was supposed to be about creating an experience, and Jurassic Park never really felt like an experience to me. The one argument that I have heard for this is that "It's all about money" but not even that argument makes sense. Like I said before, the only thing the studio would have to say it "Hey everyone, we are putting this movie back into theaters for a couple of weeks, it's going to be exactly the same as when it first came out, we hope you enjoy it!", it would cost the studio a lot less than it would to convert it, and it's a pretty safe bet that audiences would go see it again, if not for nostalgia.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Special!

You probably came here thinking I was going to give my thoughts on the election happening today. That I was going to give some speech about how you should get out there and vote because your voice matters and that you can help shape the course of history.

Sorry guys, not today. Not that I don't care about what happens in our nation, but here's the thing, I do this as a hobby, and why would I want to spend my hobby time talking about stuff that matters? Instead, we are going to talk about the things that you pay me to talk about: Movies and video games. Okay, I guess I don't really get paid to talk about that, but that's not the point. In today's case we are going to talk about one of the most hyped up and anticipated games of 2012... That's right, we are talking about...

Wait... What? Sorry wrong game, we are really here to talk about...

There should be a "Fuck Yeah" somewhere on this poster

Yes, we are talking about one of the most awaited sequels probably of the new decade. Ever since the first Halo game was released for the original Xbox console, games have never really been the same, especially first person shooters. What Halo did for first person shooters is what Zelda did for fantasy games. In other words, titles like Call of Duty and Battlefield all owe thanks in one way or another to the original Halo. And in alot of cases, some games have failed to meet the standard set by the original masterpiece. Unfortunately, some of those cases include Halo's own sequels. Some of them were good, the best one up to this point being Halo Reach (which was really more of a prequel), but none really wowed us the way that Halo did. Halo 2 was pretty meh, Halo 3 was an improvement, but it has its flaws, Halo 3 ODST was like the equivalent of Bourne Legacy, it was interesting, but the world would have kept on spinning had it not been released. We also had Halo Wars, which was a strategy game for Halo which, while it was a worthy effort and I do think is pretty underrated, got kind of swept under the rug. Then we had Halo Reach, which I already said was the best one to come since the original. Last year, we had the rerelease of the original Halo, where the developers took the original Halo, updated the graphics and released it for the Xbox 360. And to be honest, I had been saying that this should have happened a long time ago. So now, here we are, 2012, and Halo 4 is upon us, even though we were already told that Halo 3 was going to be the last for this story line. 

So, has this franchise gotten lost in space, or does live up to its own hype?  The answer is a very thankful and relieved YES, it does live up to the hype. When Bungie said that they were passing the torch to 343 industries, none of us really knew what to make of that. As far as I know, they haven't made anything big, and Halo 4 would have been their first huge big budget project, and you can tell that not a dime of the blank check they were handed was put to waste. My main problem with the other sequels, even Reach was that none of them felt as big or as grand as the first Halo. Well, that problem was already addressed 2 levels into the game after you have crash landed on a new planet. I'm not going to go into the story, as I don't want to spoil anything for those who are holding out for Christmas, but I can say for sure is that from a story stand point, this is a far superior entry to the predecessors. As far as I have played, there are no flood, there are sentinels and we even get to fight elites again. I was bummed when they turned good because I really liked fighting those guys. Sad Panda. At least, not anymore now that I get to kill them again. Joy! Keep in mind, I'm not that far into the game right now, so I can't say this for sure, but like I said there is not one sign of the flood. I really hope that is not a knock on wood moment, seeing as how I thought they were cool for the first bit, but I always saw them as a gag that got old really fast. So, as fun as the other games were, it finally seems as though we have finally been given the Halo sequel we were asking for. The only gripe that I have is that I heard they took out the firefight mod for multiplayer, which was the source of hours upon hours of fun for myself and my friends. Oh well, as long as there is a co-op element, or really any multiplayer (something the Halo games kick ass at), we don't have much to complain about.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wreck-it Ralph

As if I really need to actually tell you if this movie is good. It's a Pixar movie! It's almost a guarantee that you are going to love it, it just all depends on what you are going to love it for. Are you going to love it the same way you loved The Incredibles where it was alot of fun and made you laugh yourself silly? Or is it more like Toy Story 3 where you are going to ball your eyes out? Well, to tell you the truth, I would group this together in the category of Incredibles and Monsters Inc. There was a lot of heart to it, and it had it's fair share of touching moments, but what I'm really going to remember this movie for is just how darn funny it is. And you have to give it credit for having a pretty creative idea too. The movie takes place in the world of video games. You ever see those PS3 commercials that have a bunch of iconic characters drinking together or something like that? This is basically the movie version of those commercials. I really liked the lengths that it went into creating this alternate universe. Probably my favorite bit in the movie is the scene where Wreck-it Ralph, a video game villain, attends a support group for villains who want something more out of their lives. If you grew up in the 90's and ever attended a birthday party at a Chuck-E-Cheese or a Nickel Nickel, you will love this scene. In addition to Ralph, you have other well known baddies like M. Bison from Streetfighter, Bowser from Super Mario, and a zombie with hatchets which, I can't be sure, but I think it might be a reference to House of the Dead. That's the only game that I've played where the zombies threw hatchets. Now, as much as I go on about this scene, don't think that this is the only good thing about the movie. The humor, while it is primarily intended for kids, is also enjoyable for adults and older kids can enjoy the little winks to games like PacMan and Sonic and other games that we wasted quarter after quarter on during our childhood. The story is good, the animation is well, Pixar, you don't need to go much further. And the voice acting from Jane Lynch, John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman among others is all top notch. What more can I say? This is one of the best animated films of the year, go see it!