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8106 › x-mas 2010 mini reviews
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short reviews about stuff i saw and player during christmas season of 2010

LocoRoco 100% play through

first thing i did was finally finishing LocoRoco 1 for PSP with a hundred percent. I already finished the game months ago, but i was still missing just a small thing to make the 100%. but, shame on me, i needed a walkthrough… thinking back this turned out to be a good idea, since the game is one of the few ones which does not reward you with anything for reaching the 100%. but how could you tell this without looking it up? The game jut throws awards at you all the time, so it did not make sense to reward the player for the most ambicious thing to do! I am very dissapointen in the game.

Shaun of the Dead

oh yeah, i hate zombie movies. But since The Walking Dead was cool, and i am now officially a fan of director Wright (see: Scott Pilgrim), this just was a matter of time for me to happen, so i saw Shaun of the Dead. And well, not a lot to say about it. It pretty much is as good as Hot Fuzz, meaning it is good as a comedy, but nothing too mentionable. I enjoyed it, but i probably won’t watch it again. I appreachiate most of the quite unique jokes and the overall direction style.

Pulp Fiction (in english!)

this was one of the movis i wanted to see in original dub for years! And i finally did, and well, what should is say… i’ts Pulp Fiction. Even in its original language ; )

The Hangover

another film that did not really surprise me, but is still mentionable watchable. Funny, without a question, but it missed the little edge that the trailers promissed me. I dunno. I appreachiate the direction it was trying to go, but it did not reach its own goal, leaving it a quite enjoyable road trip comedy movie of sorts. Like with Shaun of the Dead, watch it once would be my recommendation!

Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines

this was a BIG letdown to my expectation. Really big. I mean, i supposed it would be at least enjoyable, since the first AC game for PC/PS3 was enjoyable without being really good, and the PSP game should have had the same advantages, but… it didn’t. First of all, the overall gameplay time. I finished it after around 4 hours, which was already very dissappointing. Even on maximum stats and with all sidequests finished. This should never happen, not with any game. I consider games with a lenght of the shortness a mini game. Plus, the gameplay itself was horrible – the PSP controls simply are not accurate enough. Running in curves did not work, the platforming was practically impossible, fighting was repeatative and simple as hell, controlling the camera did not give you enough sight. The graphics were as simple as in GTA3 – which is by far not the PSP standards – and very, very buggy. I fell through walls and floors, got stuck at invisible walls and obstacles. The AI turned itself off every now and then, leaving the enemies moveless and irritated, running in circles and shit like that.i had a few glitches that caused story loops. Altair’s moves were pretty much all left out, leaving you not enough things to do which would give you the typical AC stealth assassination feeling. No jumping off roofs to jump kill soldiers and such. The maps were small and few. The story was tightly cut and full of plot holes (what the fuck happened to the other stealth assassin, who was BETTER and FASTER than Altair, who only showed up in ONE scene and vanished immediatly, never to be seen again???). And so and, and so on, and so on… it’s a mess of a game, don’t you ever play it!

EDIT: after 2~3 hours of more gample i reached the 100%. yet again, very pointless, as i got NOTHING for that.

Grave of the Fireflies live action dorama movie

i as very afraid of this one and kept it on my hard drive for quite a while until i got bored recently and watched it. The reason for that is that the original anime from early Ghibli is one of my all time favorite animes ever, and it is very easy to adapt it into a hell of a bad thing. And judging from screenshots this is exactly what the producers of the movie did with it. but as a fan i could no longer resist and in the end i had to watch it and… well, it’s not too bad at all. Not exactly good, but certainly watchable. The fact that i again cried like a bitch does not mean to much, because with a story THIS pituful it is really easy to make me cry. And the other end the movie also did many things good, so… ah, i don’t know, it’s a strange thing. I will just frame out the most positive and most negative things and you will get my point. Negative things first: the cheap production i visibly at many points – you know this kind of cheap from many and MANY japanese (tv) movies, mocking the few action scenes renderless unsatisfying and unrealistic. Hell, even the fireflies looked like crap. And what nearly destroyed the film for me were the advertisments! “The what–?” you might think now. Yes, the ads. You see, the movie was produced as a tie-in to the 60 year aniversary of the end of the war. So it got sponsored by major companies – and they were heartless enough to stop the movie every now and then (traditionally at the most touching scenes!!) to show off their logos and even reading them. Accompanied by a slideshow of what was about to come, like with a bad soap opera, additionally spoilering me key scenes of the coming rest of the movie! And speaking of cheap soap operas – i think that is were they got their actors from! Thank god japanese dorama series are not as bad acted as we germans or the US americans are used to, so we got for like 70% of the runtime a quite decent acting. But every now and then… meh… just no-no. And they added an additional side plot to tie in a younger audience to the events the film is presenting, in the most clishe way ever, plus a rediculous aweful ending. On the plus side they sticked surprisingly well to the source material. Copying certain pictures and scenes and sentences said, and so on. Some things were adapted so well that the sheer looks of it gave me the chills, for example Seita and Se-chan’s clothing throughout the whole movie. Specking of which, the main actors did fine job in my opinion and rescued this could-have-been failure of a movie. But what in the end caught me was the only thing that was not original for the movie: the plot. You cannot really fail with that storyline and happenings. If you don’t get wet eyes while watching this movie, you’re a heartless monster. If you are resistent or blind to bad advertisment and can tolerate cheap tv movies, give it a try. Dorama fans are welcome.

Naru Taru / Shadow Star anime

also an adaption i kept on my hard drive for quite some time. And a hard one to review. First of all, i was astonished to find out it got adapted into an anime in the first place. The manga by Mohiro Kitoh is one of the harshest and cruelest books i ever read (which got released outside of japan), and i think even for japanese releases it’s quite hard on its audience and extreme in visuals and story. Surely nothing to be shown on television. This may be the reason why the anime just stops at a speficific point in the storyline. 13 episodes sure are no enough to bring this into a functioning anime, escpecially if you try to keep most of the sidestories in, but they did. My guess is they did cancelled at that point, or they never tried to go any further into the story, because it was already heavy enough for a tv audience. I love Kitoh’s stories, especiall the ones that were too riskee to publish outside of japan. Naru Taru may still be his less extreme stories, so it’s not that much of a shame that the anime got such a cheap production. I loved how they animated the dragonets (exactly like i imagined them to look and act!), but pretty much everything else was simple put LAZY animated. Lazy, like pokémon-style lazy, and that is telling a lot. But well, i can’t complain. it’s a wonder it got into production at all. IF you have read the manga, and only then, you MIGHT wanna watch the anime and would kinda enjoy it, but otherwise – especially if you’re new to Kitoh’s works – don’t get yourself into it, you’ll regret your decision.

Machinarium (Amanita Design)

i was looking forward to play the newest game by Amanita Design for quite some time, but always was too lazy to spend 10 euros on it. Got that covered now and playing Machinarium every now and then. I kinda miss the room-by-room approach of the Samorost games, making the new game by far more complex. It now plays more like the typical oldskool point-and-click adventure, but i guess it’s okay to me, since the game is still very pretty. The overall style is astonishing cool and unique. Kind a bit melancholic, but also very cute and nice to look at. Amazing how they manage to get a feel for the strang world they created without the use of words!

Scott Pilgrim (commentaries…)

hell, one could think i will get tired of this whol Scott Pilgrim thing by now, but this is THE franchise of the year for me! Right now i am a walking SP encyclopaedy. I have seen the movie a dozen times already, and alone during the past few days another five times, mainly with audio commentaries on. And guess what, the movie gets better and better to me, as it more and more gets a “depht” i miss with so many things. The more i learn about everything involved and all the references and details, the more i love it. ‘Detail’ is the main key here. If a movie is so full of details that even after 10 times watching it you still get new things to spot, that means something. I still recommend it to everyone i know.

Avatar (Cameron)

mh yeah, well… i never thought i would see this. Watched it more by accident, than intentional, when i was stuck at my uncle due to the weather, and they watched it there, so i joined them. And well, what should i say about it… it is exactly how i thought it to be: as a MOVIE it fails in every respect. It is shamlessly patched together from a few dozens of already proven film concept, which each could not fail at a major audience. It’s like watching the Matrix meets Pocanhonthas, combined with every known Cameron movie, spiced with “wait, i have seen this somewhere before…!”. Extremely beautiful to watch, the CGI was astonishing great. And the creature design of Pandora was kinda cool. But everything else was so shallow and logical to expect and, well, thrown together, it is a mess of a shitty movie. I enjoyed WATCHING it, but not certainly not more!

5 Centimeter Per Second

no idea where i have this from, and why. I usually don’t download stuff unless i have at least one good reason. I don’t remember the reason for this anime, but i am glad i once had one. Because it was pretty good and nice to watch! It emobodied very well what i try to describe with “sweet melancholy”. As a collection of short stories about love, it was neither a happy film, nor it was actually sad. Not neutral, but everything at once. Really likeable and extremely beautiful!! makes me wanna write sad and strange love stories and reconsider decisions i once made in my past, which totally changed my future. It is always nice when a movie has this kind of effect on the viewer.

Der Steppenwolf Hermann Hesse

diesen review mach ich mal auf deutsch, aus offensichtlichen gründen für die die deutsch lesen können. Der Steppenwolf war das Lieblingsbuch von meinem bruder gewesen, und ich hatte zuvor schon Hesse’s Siddhartha gelesen und sehr genossen, also war es eigentlcih ganz logisch für mich, dass ich den Steppenwolf einmal lesen werde. Auch wenn es schwer für mich war, denn es geht um einen alten, selbstmordgefährdeten einzelgänger – die parallelen zu meinem bruder konnte ich seite für seite nicht ausser acht lassen. Und obwohl ich stets in der hoffnung war ein wenig antworten in diesem buch zu finden war es schwer das buch zu ende zu lesen, und ich brauchte immerhin ein halbes jahr für alle 280 seiten. Ohne jetzt gross zu spoilern… antworten hab ich nicht bekommen. Der grund dafür ist das ende (falls du das buch noch lesen willst, hör JETZT auf weiterzulesen): es endet einfach so. Ohne abschluss, weder der haupthandlung, noch der am anfang eröffneten rahmenhandlung. Es fühlte sich wirklich so an als hätte ich mittem im buch aufgehört zu lesen. Dass es zum ende hin so surrealistisch wurde, damit kann ich ja leben, und auch Siddharta hatte schon ein sehr offenes, unbefriedigendes ende, aber der Steppenwolf hatte gar kein ende, nicht mal ein offenes. Sehr irritierend.

Joyeux Noël / Merry Christmas

a film about german, scottish and french soldiers ceasing fire at christmas 1914, after real happenings in belgium back in World War I. It is a christmas movie, and a really good one. I don’t get along with christmas stuff of many kinds, so when i like one of them for once, this means a lot! It is a really heart warming film – kinda depressing though, and a bit brutal at some points (it still is a war movie!), but overall great to watch at chistmas, because it so speaks for the christmas spirit. What christmas is about. Very recommendable.

Shadow of the Colossus

i just began playing this game – i still can’t believe i finally got a copy of this after all those years. And so far it is really impressive! The graphics are very astonishing, and even worth the slowtime that occurs every now and then. You can’t blame the PS2 for that, you can see SO FAR and SO MUCH, and everything is so beautiful. I would have liked a PS3 version, because of the much bigger resolution. Also impressive are the stylised story, and of course the battles. It still is very unique, why has never another game try to conquer what this game accomplished? How about Monster Hunter?


slightly sick mindfuck movie by David Cronenberg, quite typical for his works, with all the strange gore, but with a lot psychodelic stuff going on. Not one of the best movies out there, obviously, and barely watch worthy, but would give a nice spice to strange movie marathons with friends. The storyline, that gets more and more distorted and irrational reminded my of that other film, of which i cannot recall the title right now, but it is about scientists who test new drugs and lie down in this dark tube filled with salt water, like in that one episode from The Simpsons.

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last modified: 2010-Dec-31, 16:25:35
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