3.17.2010

You're Better Off Empty and Blank

Laid to Rest has proven to be a reasonably divisive film over the last year or so since it hit DVD. It's got a lot for gore hounds to sink their teeth into, but gore has really lost it's punch over the last few years, thanks to Saw and it's ilk. Gore is no longer an unusual part of films, especially horror films, these days. I have noticed a trend of more and more die hard horror junkies wanting better writing and acting out of their horror films, before they will get behind them. I get that, I really do. If any asshole with a digital camera can slap together a gore fest, we need some other less common factor to help separate the wheat from the chaff.

One thing I loved about Laid to Rest is the fact that the Final Girl is an asshole. Unlike every other slasher ever, you didn't sympathize with her, you didn't want her to survive and you hated that she was getting all these characters that were much more sympathetic killed. Honestly, I think this was a deliberate choice on the director's part. You get to the big reveal where you would normally find out some shocking and endearing factoid about our amnesiac final girl, only to find out she's an even bigger asshole than you already thought she was. I just loved that.

That said, the final girl's acting is atrocious. Not in spots or now and then, but the entire movie. The girl was in fact cast for her rack (which I am ok with), but then we get no nudity, which I found kind of odd. Some of the other actors manage to pull it out in spots, but they are working with dialogue that's almost as bad as The Girl's acting. Thomas Dekker shows up in a hilarious bit part as some douche on his way to a rave, which is sort of redundant to say. If you are going to a rave, isn't a given that you're a douche? I am just saying.

That actually brings up something else I really enjoyed about Laid to Rest; the score. I thought the score was pretty cool, overall. Sure it was all goofy metal and techno/industrial, but I sorta liked that it was all original goofy metal and techno/industrial. He could have easily licensed some shitty bands and shoe-horned them into the scenes to sell a soundtrack. Instead, some effort was made to create a score that fit the mood he wanted. I want the soundtrack just to be able to listen to “Sexy bitches are my favorite kinda bitches” at my leisure.

While I admit that the movie is terrible, I own it and love it. We actually pop it in on a regular basis because it's kind of hilarious in spots. "I don't have a traditional land line, per se" and the ensuing internet police call had me rolling, as did the aforementioned "Sexy bitches are my favorite kinda bitches". The gore is quite astounding at times, with some excellent and rather messy kills. This is a movie that I think gore hounds will love and everyone else will probably hate, but I see it as something that could be a lot of fun with a group of friends and some booze.

3.16.2010

Wake Me Up Before You PSPgo go

A recent article on Kotaku that reported on some statements from statements from Gavin Cheshire, VP of Codemasters, sparked some interesting debate in the comments section regarding the current state of the PSP. Being an owner of all three of the current handheld gaming platforms, I felt compelled to join in the discussion.

View the original article here. The discussion I took part in can be found here. Kotaku probably has the best comments section of any online blog I have ever seen.

The PSPgo does less than a PSP 3000, but costs substantially more. There is no logical reason to buy a go over a 3000, because you can do everything you can on the go with the cheaper system. That is the ultimate failure of the go.

My main problem with the PSP is that it is essentially a PS2 with one less analog stick. Since I care less about portability and more about unique gaming experiences, there is no compelling reason to play games on the PSP versus just playing them on the PS2. Chains of Olympus felt like the GoW games on PS2, only with slightly gimped controls. I also love how people always mention how good the PSP is for homebrew and emulation (the only homebrew I've ever known anyone to partake in) and then the masses wonder why publishers to embrace the system. Piracy is one of it's selling points for a lot of folks. I have a friend whose only purpose for still owning a PSP is as a NES emulator.

On the other hand, the truly great games on the DS (notable exception taken for New Super Mario Bros.) offer up an experience that really can't be had on any other gaming platform. When implemented intelligently, the dual screens offer up a completely new and unique play experience. On top of that, the DS Lite was cheaper, lighter and, imo, more portable than the PSP ever was and the games usually trended about 10 dollars cheaper than those on the PSP. In short, it was a portable system that understood that most people didn't want a full blown console experience in their hands.

I am not a fanboy, by any stretch. At this point, my portable gaming platform of choice is an Ipod. Being a fan of puzzle games, first and foremost, there is no simply no better handheld platform out there for me. Apple absolutely nailed their online store and pricing. Sooner or later, maybe Sony and Nintendo will figure it out, since the online stores for both those companies is a joke. Hey, Sony, release IQ somewhere that isn't Japan and I'll buy a PSPgo to play it. I swear.