Archives for September, 2010
This week we give you an extra long edition of the show featuring Star Wars 3D talk, Spartacus news, new Roku news, Iron Man 2 blu-ray, and Elmo!
Film directed by William Castle
Film “Riffers”: Kevin Murphy, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbitt
Special Guest “Riffer”: Paul F. Tompkins
“It’s almost time to lock up the house and then your party will really begin. I wonder how it will end.”
Vincent Price as Fredrick Loren
Fathom Events provide cinema events at your local movie theater. They program everything from opera, comedy, music concerts, anime, talk-radio, original programs, children’s programming and much more. And if you were not able to get tickets to your local Riff Trax events around the country, you could get a ticket for the Fathom Events live broadcast of the show and watch everything as if you were in the theater with the Riff Trax gang yourself. Check www.fathomevents.com for upcoming schedule of events in your city. I was lucky to catch Riff Trax riffing “House on Haunted Hill” last night.
Just in case you aren’t familiar with the original 1959 film House on Haunted Hill, let me catch you up to speed.
Directed by William Castle, House on Haunted Hill is the tale of 5 people invited to spend the night in a haunted mansion by eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) and his beautiful but treacherous 4th wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart).
Anyone who is able to stay the entire night will receive $10,000. Pretty tempting, right?
At the beginning of the evening, Frederick gives each guest a gun and tells them the rules of the party.
However, Annabelle has plans of her own. She pulls guests over to the side to tell them that her husband is insane and he is trying to kill her. One guest in particular, Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig) is especially sympathetic to her plight and is scared of some of the sight she has already seen. Things are going to get a lot scarier and a lot more grisly before this party comes to an end.
William Castle, director of such other fare as 13 Ghosts (1960), The Tingler (1959) and Strait Jacket (1964) was well known for his gimmicks in promoting his B movies. He would install buzzers in the seats, have girls dress in nurses outfits to help those that are “scared to death” during the film screenings and for House on Haunted Hill, he debuted “Emergo”: a system of pulleys that would allow a plastic glow in the dark skeleton to float over the audience at the appropriate times.
House on Haunted Hill is a very entertaining, spooky and charming B Movie that any self respecting film fan will enjoy. I mean, come on: it stars Vincent Price. Vincent Price owns this movie, just like any other film he has starred in.
Mike, Kevin and Bill had some excellent jokes and references in their “riff” of this film classic. With references from everything from Mad Men to What’s Happening, they were on top of their game for this one. The addition of Paul F. Tompkins also was a fun addition to the evening.
Also, as a bonus to all Riff Trax fans, before the feature played, there were two new shorts. Magic Disappearing Money and Paper and I. Both were absolutely surreal and the guys had a great time with the jokes in these as well. Trust me, a short film about a “witch” that helps shoppers save money and short film about a little boy obsessed with the production of paper and becoming a victim to a persuasive paper bag is unlike anything else you have ever seen. The laughs were nonstop.
The Riff Trax guys knocked it out of the park once again. I really enjoyed the presentation by Fathom Events as well. I will keep their events on my calendar.
Directed by Gary Trousdale
Voices by Robby Benson, Paige O’Hara, Angela Lansbury, Jerry Orbach
Okay, I have to admit this: I am not the biggest fan of Disney films. I like Lady and the Tramp and The Jungle Book. I prefer Pixar films. So, I am a bit a hard sell when it comes to Disney films, especially those of the princess variety or a girl looking for true love. So, what’s my take on Beauty and the Beast? …continue reading
Starring: Julie Benz, Bruce McGill, Natasha Calis
Directed By: Grant Harvey
What is worse than being the victim of a violent home invasion, explosives being wrapped around you and your only daughter and then being forced to betray your co-workers and rob your employer? Maybe having nobody believe you, maybe being accused of being the mastermind behind the crime, maybe having your shameful past exposed and plastered all over the papers and TV. That’s the type of question that Held Hostage presents, but the only question I was asking myself during the movie was, “is it almost over?” …continue reading
Caprica’s coming back to SyFy on October 5th and the network has graciously provided us with a catch up recap video to get ready for the premiere! Also, Stargate Universe is moving to a new night for this season and to celebrate we’ve got a sneak preview clip! SGU premieres on Tuesday September 28th. Check out both clips below! …continue reading
Written by Vem and Steven Thadeus
Art by Anthony Diecidue
How far would you go for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? …continue reading
Voltron pix, new recording day, live tweeting, Bond, Bill and Ted, and a ton more. This week we’re adjusting the format a bit so tell us what you think!
Halo Reach is easily one of the most anticipated videogame releases of 2010. The anticipation built to such a level that the game made a record breaking $200 million on day one. This is the last game in the series to be developed by Bungie Studios. There may be more Halo games but this is the last to be crafted by the folks responsible for crafting one of the most popular game franchises in the history of videogames.
Halo Reach is a prequel story to all of the other games. It tells the story of the fall of the planet Reach to the aliens so it’s easy to expect a less than happy ending because we know there are three, four if you count ODST, other stories to be told before the story is truly complete. In this go around you play a foot soldier, not the super hero Master Chief that you were in the other games. The main way you notice that you aren’t the hero of the other games is that you can’t take as many hits as you once could and the weapons don’t have the kick that they do in the other games. With that said the weapons balancing is better here than it has ever been.
All of the familiar Halo elements are in place here including the familiar weapons, the vehicles, and the pickups. The most striking thing about these elements is just how refined they are. The vehicle control scheme in Halo games is different than in most other videogames and here it finally hits its pinnacle. This is the first time that the control has ever felt completely natural and easy to master early on in gameplay. This comes from someone who’s not a master of any of the games thus far.
Many other reviews have raved about the story and honestly I don’t get it. The story is serviceable and thankfully it is much more streamlined than that of previous installments to the franchise. There are no dramatic moments in the game but there are plenty of “melodramatic” moments throughout. That’s not necessarily an insult or complaint because this is just the nature of videogame storytelling. There are some games with fantastic stories but there not as common as many gamers would have you believe. You want good videogame stories? This is an aside from the review but some recommendations for videogames with good stories include Half Life, Condemned, Heavy Rain, and Bioshock. Most first person shooters just have a story that helps offer up opportunities to shoot things and that’s cool.
The battles in this game are a really fantastic mix of epic and intimate and they’re a nice break from the more linear firefights common to most current shooters such as the Modern Warfare games and even the Gears of War games. The artificial intelligence of the Halo games has progressively gotten better and better and again this is the pinnacle of the franchise. You take a huge open play area where you can move and approach fights from nearly any angle you want and you add AI that reacts to every decision that you make and the result is a game that’s completely riveting.
Add to the engrossing campaign a new character customization tool that allows you to add custom armor and helmets to your character as you acquire credits through gameplay and the game becomes more addictive. Bungie is also offering up daily and weekly game goals that gain you credits and achievements if you meet those goals. The multiplayer modes are some of the best in videogames that include customizable maps through the extremely deep Forge mode to team battles against waves of aliens via firefight. So there’s plenty of reason to play the campaign through many times over and the XBOX Live goals and achievements and deep multiplayer give this game a longer life than most other games on the market. The only real complaint I have is that there aren’t enough new exciting weapons. It’s hard to reason why there would be very many new weapons in the story and the franchise but honestly some new exciting weapons would have been appreciated. There are a few surprises though including one weapon lifted right from Gears of War. Halo Reach is the shooter game for shooter fans and it’s totally sci-fi which is also fresh in a pool of modern and classic war games.
The first Halo game was literally a game changer on many levels from storytelling to gameplay to graphics. Looking down and seeing separate blades of grass was truly amazing. Halo 2, 3, and ODST all took evolutionary steps forward in graphics but the franchise was often being surpassed in this department by other games. Finally Halo Reach takes that true next step in graphic beauty. Textures, character design, and overall environments are completely gorgeous to look at. With that said Halo Reach doesn’t set a new bar in look but it’s completely comparable to any shooter currently on the market. The one little complaint is that the look of the familiar weapons in the game doesn’t get the same visual upgrade that the rest of the game gets. Overall though, this game is gorgeous.
Halo Reach is one of the best executed games on store shelves this year if not the best. Not one thing about this game seems rushed. It all feels very well thought out and refined which is not common in a business where developers are so often forced to make compromises to meet release dates. This is one of the must own games of 2010. It’s a part of pop culture history and missing out would be a real loss.
Overall (Not an average) 9/10
The Game 9.5/10
The Graphics 8/10
Overall (Not an Average) 9/10
Tron Legacy is easily one of our most anticipated films this year. So, when we were offered a ton of new posters and screen shots to show off it was a no brainer. There’s not much else to say but check ‘em out! …continue reading
The original Hatchet was a tribute to all of the great slasher flicks of the 80′s without being a spoof. This seuqel looks to take everything about the 80′s slasher to the next level plus it’s hitting theaters unrated! Now we have an unrated trailer! Check it out below:
Directed By Bill Lustig
Starring: David “Shark” Frailic, Leslie Neale, Isaac Hayes, Christopher Ogden
Back in the old days of horror and exploitation films the filmmakers weren’t just telling stories, they were also trying to get something out of there system. Dawn of the Dead was a great zombie movie, probably the best ever made, but it was also a comment on what Romero was feeling about consumerism in America at the time. Even the setting, one of the first large indoor malls in America, supported his statement. …continue reading
Written/Directed by Adam Green
Starring Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers
Adam Green is someone we’ve praised on CineGeek before. His very 80’s style of filmmaking has led to some great films including Hatchet and Grace, which he produced. Frozen is his latest film to hit DVD and blu-ray and it also does not disappoint. …continue reading
Created by Steven S. DeKnight
Featuring Andy Whitfield, John Hannah, Peter Mensah and Lucy Lawless
Good ol’ fashioned fighting fun with plenty of eye candy and drama. And Lucy Lawless. What more could you want? …continue reading
Created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady
Starring: Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg
“Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip? To get to the same side…. bazinga!!!”
Jim Parsons as Sheldon
I am a major “The Big Bang Theory” fan. So, I was jazzed when Season 3 on Blu Ray reached my humble abode. Let’s explore, shall we? …continue reading
Created by Kurt Sutter
Starring Ron Perlman, Katey Segal, Charlie Hunam, Ally Walker, Kim Coates
FX, TNT, and AMC are all crafting programs that step above standard network fare when it comes to production value, storytelling, and of course violence and sexuality. These networks do have their share of procedurals but they also take some chances and Sons of Anarchy is just one of those chances that ended up being worth taking. …continue reading