The Reviewer’s Nook
The hub for media reviews

Archive for May, 2008

The Stupids

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Really, if there was ever a title that fit a movie perfectly, it would be this. The Stupids was a classic comedy film starring Tom Arnold, Jessica Lundy, Bug Hall, and Alex McKenna.

Released way back in 1996, this film has been quoted by reviewers as one of the greatest  farcical comedies of its time, despite the fact that it wasn’t as well received when it first aired. It has some of the best gags I have personally ever seen, which it gets across without the need for excessive violence, slapstick, or sarcasm. Which is impressive, since a huge chunk of the successful comedies in this day and age rely heavily on these elements for laughs.

But don’t take my word for it: here’s a short clip from the film (the only one I could find on the web):

There’s a short segment in the film where Tom Arnold sings this little number originally written by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe called “I’m My Own Grandpa.” This, I think, was the highlight of the film. Why so? Check the lyrics here.

A Very Good List

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Here’s a quick one. If you check some of my past posts, you could probably tell that I’m a very intense sci-fi and fantasy book geek (more of sci-fi, actually). I’ve read through classics like Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke to newer works from Sheri Tepper and Mary Doria Russel. Recently, good examples of impressive sci-fi have been few and far between, either because the quality of the works have dwindled down to pulp-comic book level (we’re talking about stories that don’t even achieve the quality of those choose-your-own-adventure books that you can buy from cheap bookstores.

For anybody who’s worth his weight in gold when it comes to reading, the real treasures in sci-fi literature are the really old classics from two to three decades ago. That was pretty much the golden age, marked by Asimov’s Foundation saga, Clarke’s various trilogies, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and yes, even Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek (at least for the latter part of the seventies - eighties). But the thing is, the number of book geeks that know of decent classics aren’t that great, thanks to the advent of alternative modes of multimedia (I don’t just speak of television: to a certain extent, we have comic books to blame for the decline of good books). Which I think is a bleepin’ shame, since really, these new readers don’t know what it is they’re missing.

So in the same spirit of my earlier presentation of Barthelme’s list of good reads, let me present you readers with this link, which is the very point of this entry anyway. The end.

Guilty Gear: A Cult Classic

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

The title’s self-explanatory, pretty much. We’re talking about Guilty Gear, arguably one of the best arcade and multi-platform fighting games out there, and definitely my personal favorite. Prior to my first experience with this game, I was stuck with games like Tekken or Marvel VS. Capcom, which were pretty good games in themselves, but this baby really took the cake for me.

What do I love most about this series? It definitely isn’t the story, since you can’t really focus too much on plot when you’re talking about fighting games (this is actually kinda similar to my love for Afrosamurai, where the story takes a back seat). If I were made to choose, I’d come up with three things that drew me to this game so much that I can’t wait to get my hands on the side-scrolling PSP port of Guilty Gear Judgement.

    1. The character design. Guilty Gear is heavily anime-influenced. I mean, just look at this selection screen. Seriously, just look at Milia Rage (left) and Chipp Zanuff (right) and tell me the level of detail that went into the design of these characters isn’t right on the money. Just try it. Right now.
    2. The BGM. How can you go wrong with a BGM made completely of ecclectic heavy metal tracks? Plus the fact that almost all of the given names throughout the series is taken from random trivia picked up from the long list of hard rock n’ roll history.
    3. The fast-paced gameplay. Man, if you ever find a fighting game that’s faster than this game is, you have to show it to me (well, I’ve found a couple, but this game started it all). Marvel VS. Capcom doesn’t even come close to the pace of even the first Guilty Gear’s in-game fights. A friend of mine once said that to like this game, you had to be combo crazy. This is probably due to the fact that the fights are non-stop movements, because blocks almost count for nothing in this game.

In closing, I’d like to leave you guys with a sample fight between two of the fastest characters in the game: Ky Kiske and Chipp Zanuff.