Saturday, February 28, 2009

Video Games: Flower

Beautiful. Breathtaking. Mesmerizing.

If I could get away with writing those three words for this review I would. "Flower" is a game that is not done justice by words. It is a great game wrapped in visual poetry. The premise is simple; you are a petal and it is your task to awaken the sleeping flowers on the fields of the world. By doing this you bring color and life back to nature. By the end of each level you are a hurricane of flower petals filling the sky. It is a game of colors and music that envelopes the player rather than leading them.

To be clear this is a game in every sense. It has objectives to achieve, enemies to defeat, and levels to traverse. You steer your petal by tilting the SIX AXIS controller and control the wind by pushing any button.

There is even a plot twist that hits around the 4th level that really throws the game for a loop. And in fact I found this twist to be one of the more unsettling things I've played in a game in a long time. I won't give it away exactly but it becomes a nature under attack story and when you attack back its exhilarating .

"Flower" is a short game. It took me only about 3 hours to complete but I enjoyed all 3 of those hours immensely. And at 10 bucks its a good deal in tough financial times. If you own a PS3 it is a must have title. If only to get away from shooting things for a few hours. I applaud ThatGameCompany for their achievement and their ambition to make different games in a world filled with copies and sequels.

Flower is available for download on the Playstaion Store.

Movies: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li

Have you ever seen an action movie? Have you ever see a martial arts movie? Are you a twelve year old boy? Then congratulations you could have written "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li." But you are still incapable of enjoying it.

The crack team behind this cinematic marvel is director Andrzej "Doom" Bartkowiak and Justin "I'm in demand for no reason" Marks. Marks is the "It" screenwriter at the moment. Having penned "Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max," "Grayskull:Masters of the Universe," "Voltron," and "Hack/Slash." If "Street Fighter" is any indication those projects are in big trouble.

The movie's look is pedestrian most of the time and flat out ugly in instances. Bartowiak does manage to put together some entertaining if run of the mill fight scenes. Chun Li fighting the bums on the street definitely worked for me. Though all that is erased by the fact that the movie looks like it was shot on a camcorder.

The script is beyond inane. It ignores not just the first rule of screenwriting but the first rule of storytelling, "show don't tell." When people talk about bad voice over this movie is what they are talking about. It says things like "I was angry" while the character makes an angry face and "I have to investigate" while a girl Googles a crime syndicate.

I've gotten ahead of myself though. What is this "movie" about.?

Based on the storyless "Street Fighter" video game franchise. "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li" tells the story of Chun Li (Kristen "Smallville" Kreuk) and her quest to avenge her father's death at the hands of crime lord Bison (Neil McDonough). While Interpol Agent Nash (Chris Klein) with help of Bangok detective Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood) try to take him down as well.

I spent more time thinking up that synopsis than Marks did writing the entire script. But I've harped on Marks long enough let's move on to some more awful things.

Kreuk as Chun Li is fine. Which is maybe the best thing I can say about the film. She is really pretty and as long as she's not emoting she is suitably athletic for the action scenes. I don't believe any of her strife at all but in the end it didn't hurt my soul when she was on screen.

McDonough plays a man from the slums of Bangkok who is white and has an Irish accent. I have nothing more to say. I just wish he was still young enough to play Captain America.

Chris Klein is epically bad here. He has always been the poor man's Keanu Reeves but here he becomes the homeless man's Keanu Reeves. He spends most of the film walking purposefully into rooms and screaming, "Get down!" And when he is not doing that he is hitting on and cracking (un) wise to his partner played by Moon Bloodgood who is hot and has a name that leads me to believe she is a vampire. However, she dresses less like a hardcore policewoman and more like a common whore.

In the last scene of the film Chun Li gets a flier for a street fighter tournament that takes place in China. She is told that a young man named Ryu shows real promise. It left me wondering why the movie didn't just start at this point. Because in a movie called "Street Fighter" I expected some actual street fighting. Call me crazy. I guess we will have to wait for the sequel. Fingers crossed.

If you want to feel like you've been skull fucked by a mentally deficient monkey "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li" is the movie for you.

Televison: DRADIS Contact: Battlestar 4.17

"Listen. It may feel like hell, but sometimes lost is where you need to be. Just because you don't know your direction doesn't mean you don't have one."

Friends, Capricans, Cylons lend me your eyes.  This is Bobby checking in with my weekly (for the next 4 weeks anyway) Battlestar Galactica postmortem.  In the interest of full disclosure there are SPOILERS ahead. 

Let's get one thing out of the way right now...Boomer is an evil bitch!  The path of destruction she left if her wake was shattering.  In this episode she manages to destroy the lives of Tyrol, Athena, Helo and cripple Galactica in the span of a few hours. 

Grace Park has never been my favorite performer on the show but she is note perfect here.  She manages to really make me believe Boomer and Athena are two completely different people. The scene in the flight briefing room where a bruised and beaten Athena screams for her kidnapped child shook me to my core. And the look on Tyrol's face when he is told Boomer stole Hera made that character as real and alive as its ever been.

There are few things that melt this reporters cold heart and a Kara Thrace episode is one of those things.  I have been addicted ever Since the first moment her short blond hair and attitude problem graced the screen and in "Someone To Watch Over Me" Katie Sackoff is at her best.  

The advertising for this weeks episode led us to believe we'd discover the mystery behind Starbuck's seeming resurrection.  In fact the conclusion only aided in deepening that riddle. What we were treated to is a psychological examination of the woman herself. 

Her voice over at the start did wonders for showing the rut she is in.  How she keeps moving but not going anywhere.  Every second she interacts with the piano player is emotionally subtle as it is powerful.  The exchange where she tries to make nice by comparing the song to chasing a car is one of those times Sackhoff conveys this vulnerability that makes that character so wonderful to me. 

I've heard the ending referred to as a "Sixth Sense" moment.  That commentary makes me believe people don't understand that movie.  Malcolm Crowe is a literal ghost while the piano player is a psychological projection that Kara uses to face her past. Leaving that behind though I love that we discover the source of Starbuck's distrust and treatment of men.  Her playing "All Along The Watchtower" and that its a song from her childhood really got me excited.

So, we are now set up for a full on Cavil led attack on the human/Cylon fleet.  Galactica is about to break into a million pieces and Gods help Tyrol when Athena and Helo discover his part in Hera's abduction.  Oh and why does Roselyn know when Hera leaves the ship??

Were it not for Lost this would be the best show of its era.  And right now its kicking on all cylinders.  I don't mind that we didn't learn how Kara came back to life because we are only three weeks from knowing the end.  I put my trust in Mr. Moore. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

Can't Escape Those "Damn Yankees"


For a genre pronounced dead just ten years ago movie musicals sure are having a good run. There have been three 100 million dollar grossers (Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Mamma Mia) in the last three years and now New Line Cinema has picked up Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal to play the field in their new adaptation of the 1950's musical "Damn Yankees."

The film about a fan of a hapless baseball team (Gyllenhaal) who makes a deal with the devil (Carrey) to help change the fortunes of his beloved squad. "Damn Yankees" will mark the first musical for both leads.

I'm all for the movie musical but "Damn Yankees" is a piece of theater which belongs squarely to its era. Will this be a period piece ala "Chicago," "Hairspray," and "Dreamgirls"? Will the screenwriting duo of Ganz and Babaloo Mandel bring the plight of the Senators into modern times? Is a Babaloo a real name? Only time will tell.

The Lost Watch 5.07

Ahoy-hoy, boys and girls out there in Interwebland. With the launch of this new website/blog factor, a grave and serious responsibility has been bestowed upon my humble shoulders. It has been left to me to discuss, dissect and discern all that my brain can process based on the greatest of all modern treasures.

I’m speaking, of course, about Lost.

Rather than prattle on forever about the goals of this blog, we’re gonna just jump off the desk and get to the Island.

Tonight’s episode, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” was not the balls-craziest of Lost, considering how balls-crazy the show has been, not only forever, but especially this season. It was though, in my opinion, the most Lost-ish feeling episode of the season. It harkened back to other “different” episodes like “The Other 48 Days,” a listing journey following a certain person through a specific period in Lost-lore.

The good? Every second that Charles Widmore or Benjamin Linus stretch across the screen is visual crack-cocaine for me. Charles’s scene with Locke (suffering from yet another leg injury – maybe there’s something in this…) presented the greatest argument for Widmore’s case for the Island. True, Charles Widmore has never outright tried to murder John Locke. Have we ever caught him in an outright lie? Have we established that Widmore has anything personally against our castaways, other than Desmond and Ben, of course? Charles Widmore finally drew the line in the sand – who do you trust, him or Ben – and that line is one huge question mark.

Speaking of Ben: doesn’t it seem like the more genuine and sympathetic he appears, the more dangerous he really is? Almost every time Locke and Ben sit down for a chit-chat, Ben does something crazy to leave Locke for dead. And always, Locke escapes certain death through twists of fate/helping hand from the Island/Jacob. This time, Locke was not left for dead – he was plum murdered and then re-hanged – and we know that a few days later he rises from the waters of the Island like an AquaJesus; Jedi-robed, ironically smiling, breathing and generally living. I think there’s something to the fact that Ben can’t seem to completely kill Locke. The Island wouldn’t let Locke kill himself (it wouldn’t let Michael or Jack kill themselves in their post-Island lives either), but Ben could since we’ve already established that Locke has a penchant for bouncing back from bullets to the abdomen and time-travel-causing brain aneurisms.

Michael Emerson, by the way = fierce. Always.

This chapter in the Locke story keeps bringing me back to Christian Shephard. Did Jack’s dad know about the Island before he went to Australia, or did he really just go to see Claire? Did he maybe find out about it in Sydney? Was his landing on the Island as destined as Locke’s return, or was it accidental? Is Christian as alive now as Locke seems to be?! Before tonight’s episode, I would have argued that he was more akin to the Ghost of Christmas Past, stepping in to guide and teach, but not to interfere physically. One triumph of this season is the reconfiguration of Christian Shephard, and like every other time the powers-that-be at Lost turn the show on it’s ear, I’m left stunned and anxious for more answers.

I dug the scene with the younger Shephard, too. It was fierce. It was harsh. "Your father says hello," sent chills down my spine. Incidentally, some of my favorite moments are when our heroes (typically Jack) are finally let in on secrets we've (the audience) known all along. Sawyer met Christian in an Australian bar. Claire's his half-sister, so Aaron's really his half-nephew. I'm a fan of these moments of breaking what I always get to fearing will become an endless bit of dramatic irony. The meeting was exactly what I imagined a reunion between Jack and John on the mainland.

And that was overall, how I felt this episode ran; a little predictably.

I appreciated the more traditional “Lost” feel of the episode, but I didn’t think much was shocking. All of the performances were excellent, however, I think considering the momentum that every episode has built up through now, “Jeremy Bentham” spun in place.

Everything – and this seldom happens in my relationship with Lost – happened precisely as one would imagine it would. Of course Jack welcomed Locke the way he did. Kate's reunion with John happened exactly the way I would think. Hurley's hilarious reception of Locke was fantastic (and like most Hurley moments, stands out as my favorite of the episode), but not altogether surprising. I expected Abaddon to get blown up, decapitated and shot any second he was on screen (after all, he's pretty badass on Fringe...I love you, J.J.). Even Jeremy Bentham's death isn't half as shocking as the way John Locke ends up in a wheelchair (the first time).

Also, I’m ready to see the whole group back together and maybe I didn’t have as much patience for this back story as I generally would because it’s at least another week of waiting for that moment of Lost happiness. You know that the gang getting together again will be one of those rare Hurley-driving-the-Scooby-Mobile moments of utter, giggling joy, and I am so excited I can hardly move. This was a cool episode – inarguably an important episode – and had I been power-watching this season on DVD, it would be a jewel of an episode given the intensity of the early six episodes. But I'm watching it on TV, where I have an endless week to wind down from my Wednesday night Lost hangover, and come the following Wednesday, I'm ready again for more balls-craziness.

More than anything, I think this was the first episode where I noticed receiving more answers than asking more questions. I didn’t walk away from the TV with my head reeling from what I had just seen. I walked away ready for it to be next Wednesday already.

Maybe I’m just weird…

As usual, next week looks crazy, so hopefully installment dos of this blogging experiment can be equally, or at least as proportionately, crazy.

Until then, keep twiddling those dials,


PS -- Can you believe Hosea won Top Chef? HOSEA?!?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Television: "Idol" wins Wednesday Ratings


On the shocking scale "American Idol" coming in on top in the ratings is just slightly more predictable than "Slumdog Millionaire" taking home Best Picture. The ratings juggernaut continued its usual dominance with its two hour episode pulling in an 8.9 rating/23 share in adults 18-49 and 24.3 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m. This was enough to beat out all other major networks combined share for that time period.

ABC's "Lost" continues to hold it's own against Idol scoring a 4.5 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and about 10 million viewers. It was the number one scripted series in the key demos of 18-49, 25-54 and 18-34.

The other big winners were CBS's "Criminal Minds" (3.4/8 in 18-49, 14.0 million viewers overall) and NCIS (3.1/9 in 18-49, 12.7 million viewers overall).

And NBC managed to scrape out it's best 8 oclock numbers in 13 months with "The Biggest Loser" (3.3/9 in 18-49, 8.7)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New "UP" Poster

Hey all...

Just thought I'd post the new "Up" poster courtesy of Ain't It Cool. Can't wait for this one. Click the poster for a bigger image.

Movies: Warner Bros. on "Suicide" mission.

Warner Brothers has tapped Sherlock Holmes producer Dan Lin to produce a feature adaptation of the DC Comics property "Suicide Squad." The Suicide Squad is a group of super villains that the government hires to execute a mission that is too dangerous for superheros. "It" screenwriter Justin Marks (Street Fighter) will write the script.

DC villains aren't very well known to the main stream outside the Batman rogue's gallery and Lex Luthor so there is a chance for a freedom in this property that is not given to most franchises. However, with DC unable to launch anything in the movie department outside of Batman I don't know how much hope I hold out for this film.

I think the success of "Watchmen" will dictate Warners and DC's direction a great deal. "Suicide Squad" is inherently dark and that's the way the studio wants to go with their pictures. I'd rather them dig for properties like this than make Superman some sort of dark, brooding and disturbed hero.

Movies: It's S.H.E.I.L.D. time motha f@&ker


Emily Blunt is out, Mickey Rourke is being low balled and it seemed Samuel L. Jackson was going the way of Terrence Howard. But hold up. Marvel has done a complete 180 degree turn and tapped the man who was Mace Windu to reprise his role as S.H.E.I.L.D. commander Nick Fury. Marvel resigned Jackson to an astounding nine picture deal. The films will supposedly include Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers.

The Marvel movie universe was in danger of losing any of the continuity and good will it had gained in the last year. I don't mind the casting of Don Cheadle because he is excellent but losing more than one essential actor would be a drag on the next Iron Man film. So this is great news! Now let's get Rourke and Rockwell signed up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Hey all,

Just letting you know we are now on the iTunes music store! Just search Fanboy Remix or just give the little icon a click! Please everyone subscribe and write reviews. We want to know how to be better.

Subscribe on iTunes

MiniCast 1: Chuck Review

Bobby signs on for a quick review of this week's Chuck.

MiniCast 1: Chuck Review
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TELEVISION: Heroes: Company Man to Cold Wars

“People are fragile like teacups. All around them the world is changing but they simply don’t want to deal with it. “
Noah Bennett – “Heroes”

The Matrix Trilogy, M. Night Shyamalan’s career, and NBC’s Heroes.

What do these three things have in common?

They are all disappointments.

Heroes has been a series on the decline since the season one finale. It has gone from a smart and entertaining super hero yarn to a convoluted and incoherent soap opera. I thought now was a good time as any to look back on a show that started with a bang and is now gasping for a whimper.

To illustrate this sliding scale we must start at the top of the curve. Company Mai is in my opinion the best episode of Heroes. It premiered almost two years ago to the day on February 26th, 2007.

Company Man was the payoff of a season long mystery. Who is the man with horn-rimmed glasses? The mystery was unraveled through a series of flashbacks that told the history of the man who we’d come to know as Noah Bennett. The story was engaging; the structure tight, and most importantly there was something at stake.

Lets fast-forward two years to Cold Wars. Let’s forget the fact that there is an extra two years of baggage weighing the series down lets just look at the facts of the episode…

No new information. No interesting developments. No character development.

Speaking of character lets take a tour around our merry band of men:

Since when is Peter this skulking anger filled man? What happened to the days where he was the emotional core of the show? And why does he just go where Matt tells him?

Mohinder continues his course being a new character every episode. One day he is remorseless bad ass another he is a whimpering and meek sycophant.

Matt has turned into a man who has no motivation above the death of Daphne a character we don’t care about and who, in true Heroes fashion, is not really dead.

The Bennett flashbacks didn’t show us anything we didn’t know before. We knew Primatech had closed, that Claire was threatened and that Bennett and the hunter didn’t get along,

They had a real opportunity to enhance this plot. To really show Nathan’s motivation, the hunter’s past, or even some new levels to Noah’s character. Instead they just filled an episode with information we already knew.

I guess it’s better than the usual time travel, multiple reality and paradox filled stories we have been getting this year.

It’s all just a waiting game till Brian Fuller return for episode 3.19.

Fuller brought us Company Man. An episode that told us a wealth of information we didn’t know. One that enriched all the characters it dealt with. It reinforced Matt’s humanity, Sprague’s desperate need for absolution, Claire’s bravery and Noah’s developing love for his family.

Cold Wars did nothing but keep the story treading water.

Monday, February 23, 2009

UPDATE: Movies:Great Oscar Moments

Well it seems today is the day of embedded video clips. We did a big Oscar wrap on the podcast but I just wanted include some clips from the show last night. But overall I loved Jackman and I thought the show was the best produced one I've ever seen. I think it managed to balance self aggrandizing and self deprecating very well and how about Anne Hathaway's voice? Digging it man. Without further ado here are some of my favorite moments from the show...

UPDATE:Well apparently two of the moments I selected were shedding the academy in too good a light. When will studios learn that any exposure is good exposure. There are still two that remain.

Bobby's Top Ten Movies of 2008

Morning all!

What a great Oscar night! Even though I finished in 4th place for my Oscar pool I still had a blast.

Here is the list of my top ten films released in 2008. This list really came together in the last two weeks or so and while I don't think it is as strong as last year's crop it is certainly nothing to look down on.

Without further ado...

10. Iron Man

9. Doubt

8. Ghost Town

7. Rachel Getting Married

6 . Forgetting Sarah Marshall

5. In Bruges

4. Wall E

3. The Dark Knight

2. Slumdog Millionaire

1. Let the Right One In

Fanboy Remix Podcast 1.1 "The Oscars"

It is finally here!! After several false starts and failed attempts the Fanboy Remix Podcast has gotten off the ground.  This week we have Bobby, Brian and Rich all together in the same room.

In our first episode of Fanboy Remix we predict and wrap up the Oscars, gush about Hugh Jackman, talk about our favorite movies of the year and debate Monopoly strategy.

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