Friday, January 31, 2014

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 10


This episode we slow down a little and turn towards the most important thing. The home. For it is where the heart is. Yet there is always the threat from monsters and some Zombies and Cultists have it coming.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 9


The mission. Try to find materials to make a compass.

The hope. To see home once more.

Soon the epic three episode story arc will conclude. Will the Disgruntled Monkey manage to make it home? Or is he destined to be Creeper food?

Review: Oblivion (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko & Andrea Riseborough
Writers: Karl Gajdusek & Michael Arndt

I was really hoping that Oblivion would be good. But I didn't get a good vibe from the trailers. It looked really pretty but there was something about the overall story that just didn't sit well with me. To top it off Tom Cruise looked like he was playing Tom Cruise, which is the worst of the Tom Cruises.

Pretty much everything I felt from the trailers proved to be correct. Which is a mammoth shame as there were nuggets of something in this script, but they never came to fruition. In the end we got a mess of a movie where not a whole heck of a lot happened.

In part I was turned away by Tom Cruise. Now he is a good actor and I've seen films he's been in that I've greatly enjoyed, however in this he doesn't seem to be trying and just comes across as Tom Cruise at the end of the world. Morgan Freeman also seems to be phoning it in, and Olga Kurylenko is really nothing more than a plot device.

Without any actors to get behind, the plot had to do work and it failed. While there are some ideas here that are intriguing, as well as world building that is impressive, overall the plot is a mess full of holes. Also for such a long movie nothing felt like it was happening. At the end I was bored and just wanted the movie to be over.

Overall the movie is visually impressive but offers nothing that I would recommend to people. It's a shame as I think Kosinski is an interesting director who has a great style. Unfortunately he has yet to build a movie that really works. Pass this one up.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
0 baseballs out of 1
Boring.
Script
0 baseballs out of 1
Plot holes that a truck can drive through.
Acting
0 baseballs out of 1
Good actors don't equal good times all the time.
Directing
0.5 baseball out of 1
Kosinski has some style but the movie is a mess.
Technical
1 baseball out of 1
World Building is impressive even if it's wasted.



Overall
1.5 baseballs out of 5
Just avoid. Not enough here for even a glance.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 8


Adventure, monsters and getting lost. This episode has it all. Our hero manages to find his equipment but tragically gets insanely lost. What will our hero do?

Probably crawl into a hole and cry.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let's Play: DayZ - Zombie Stories Part 01


I take you behind the man that is my character. I prepare to do zombie shooting. I then find out it's night and i'm in the middle of a town. CRAAAAAP! Run. Zombies!

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 7


Well unlike yesterdays video this actually has sound. Maybe the wrong type of sound as a man and his leaf blower join us right at the end.

But other than that I decide to go on an adventure. Then promptly die. Huzzah!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 6


New week and I've got 99 problems but a Creeper ain't one.

The tower is built, exploration happens and innocent sheep are killed. Watch what some people are calling:

"Extraodinary."

"Mind-blowing."

and

"A complete sell out."


Friday, January 24, 2014

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 5


We have upgraded. We are faster, stronger, better. At least to the technical aspects. Disgruntled Monkey will always be the same.

In this episode he berates Twitch, talks about baby's and does a little discussion on Minecraft. Also he begins work on the great tower that shall mock the very Minecraft gods.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 4


Today we search for Iron Ore to be able to complete Operation Farm Aid. Things get desperate and eating rotten flesh becomes a viable option. Unfortunately due to the grotesque nature of the act, Twitch crashes and 10 minutes of hilarious rotten flesh humor is lost.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 3


In this episode Disgruntled Monkey's brain explodes and plans crumble. There is some talk about news but this proves pointless. Creepers, Skeletons and creepy Cultists round out the most trying of episodes. Oh and a hedge was built.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: Texas Chainsaw 3d

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: John Luessenhop
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde and Scott Eastwood 
Writers: Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan and Kirsten Elms

Not sure were to honestly begin with this review as this movie is a mess. But if you are careful enough to wipe away the piles of crap you can actually find some shiny goodness. Now the good parts never justify the end product but at least it makes me feel like this isn't a total wash.

First off we have Alexandra Daddario who is actually a very decent actress. She makes the main character of Heather really likable and manages to create a very solid core in the film. Perhaps if the character was in another film we would actually be talking more about her character.

Speaking of other films. If this movie was removed from the Texas Chainsaw branding we could of seen something fairly decent as the main idea is intriguing. A young girl finds out she's adopted when a letter arrives about an inheritance, but soon she will find that the inheritance may not just include a nice house and money. The family secret is about to get loose and the young girl will need to decide who to defend, the town or her family. See it sounds pretty good.

Unfortunately while the premise sounds good the movie is undone by the standard horror tropes. Characters act stupidly, twists happen that aren't that twisty and basically story is put in the back seat for some good ol chainsaw action. But then again can we expect anything more from a Texas Chainsaw movie? Well no really. Hence why I feel that Alexandria and the core story concept could of done better in something different.

Summing it all up this is a bad movie that even fans of the Texas Chainsaw movies would do well to avoid. It does nothing to build the mythos of the franchise and it squanders what good things it has by trying to cram it into said franchise. Just avoid.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
0 chainsaws out of 1
It's pretty stupid and offers nothing new.
Script
0 chainsaws out of 1
One great concept ruined by trite crap.
Acting
1 chainsaws out of 1
Alexandria Daddario gives a great performance.
Directing
0 chainsaws out of 1
Nothing to leave memories.
Technical
0.5 chainsaws out of 1
It get's a half cause it doesn't look horrible, just not memorable.



Overall
1.5 chainsaws out of 1
Ho hum. Move along.

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 2


In this episode our would be adventurer tries to find coal so he can see in the dark. He also discusses the evil Canadian Conspiracy to take over the world and he tragically finds out that Minecraft is truly a tool of the radical right wing.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Let's Play: Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 1


Today has been a bit of a bastard. But I pushed forward and I finally got the first part of my Minecraft Let's Play uploaded on Youtube. Fate and the gods seemed to be aligned against me but still I was victorious. I do all this because I care for you.


Also friend of the blog Pickledancer is still doing his Let's Plays and is currently doing Final Fantasy Tactics. Below is Part 1.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Get Ranty: Celebrity Worship

With all the Golden Globes stuff and Justin Bieber carnage I felt like I needed to say something. Hell i've been percolating stuff on Stephen Moffat and Joss Whedon, so it all kind of came together. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: The Wolverine (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee & Tao Okamoto
Writers: Mark Bomback & Scott Frank

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was supposed to take the X-Men franchise to the next level. Several stand alone movies were in the works, but the Wolverine movie landed with such critical damage that it was thought that Fox wouldn't make another X-Men movie. Thankfully X-Men clawed their way back and Wolverine was given another chance; a shot at redeeming himself.

Alot of people will look at this movie and think that it's a huge improvement over the first. I agree and yet I still think the movie is flawed. 

Maybe it's the character of Wolverine that doesn't gel with me. I use to be a big Wolverine fan. Read the comics, cheered him on the cartoon series. But when they started delving more into his past, the more they tried to explain the character the less interested I got. So I'm not really sure if these stand alone movies are for me.

The movie itself look pretty and James Mangold really brings a great sense of style to the proceedings. However no matter how much creative juice he put into the movie I just couldn't be roused. Wolverine of the movie had given up and in a way I had too.

Hugh Jackman does a great job. I thought he was the best in the earlier movies, but like the comic my interest in the character waned so not matter what he did, he could never hook me. Still credit to the man and if you loved his personification of the Canadian mutant then you should have no trouble with this movie.  Rila Fukushima who played Yukio was also a joy to watch. Her character brought a youthful energy to the movie that actually managed to grab my attention. However she's not in the movie a lot and disappears for a large chunk.

I guess the movie is actually pretty darn good, considering the greatest problem I've broached so far has to do with my own personal tastes. But that's when we get to the villains. I just didn't care about them. While well acted the script made them pretty bland in my mind. This story is the introduction of one of Wolverine's big enemies, the Silver Samurai. What we get is a robot. A robot who we don't really know about until the last 10 or so minutes of the movie. I really needed a villain front and center.

This all comes around to my personal problem. Wolverine as a movie character has been beaten down and is a broken man. Pretty much cursed to live forever, he doesn't want to live any more. The character isn't dynamic and that's not his fault, but he needs a villain to re-introduce the stakes. There needs to be a big bad who forces him to be dynamic.

On a smaller scale you do this simply by throwing hired goons at him. In that regards Wolverine is actually pretty good with some fairly decent fights. Yet again there is actual talent in this movie, it's just in the grander scheme of things the fights were hollow for me.

The Wolverine is a weird movie for me. I can see that it's a well done movie, I can see people with alot of talent at work. However if I can borrow a phrase from Stephen King, its like this beautiful care with no engine, it's nice to look at but it can't go anywhere. Or something to that effect.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
0 claws out of 1
Others may have a great time with this movie but I'm burnt out on Wolverine. 
Script
0 claws out of 1
They wanted to create an epic redemption story but forgot to make a great villain to create that.
Acting
1 claw out of 1
Hugh Jackman is Wolverine.
Directing
1 claw out of 1
James Mangold brings some great style to the movie.
Technical
1 claw out of 1
A nice visual treat.



Overall
3 claws out of 5
A good movie that just felt hollow to me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review: Basket Case 3 (1991)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Starring: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross and Gil Roper
Writers: Frank Henenlotter and Robert Martin

With the second movie there was hope, but this movie brings a whole new problem and at the end of the day proves to be a misstep. Basket Case 3 suffers from not having anyone to actually barrack for. *sigh*

Now Basket Case 3 could be trying to spread the message that everyone is a freak, but it still doesn't help that I HATED everyone in this film. Everyone was a monster and probably the movie's nicest character got dispatched early on.

Creature design is still good but I had some sympathy for the side freaks. This time I couldn't give a crap so that wonderful Looney Tunes vibe that was being built is flushed down the toilet.

I could go on, but i'm going to keep this short. It's not as bad as the first movie but it's a huge disappointment when compared to the second. Anything I liked is buried underneath a messy script, mixed message and just horrible characters that I want to die. It's okay to be zany but you need characters to cheer for.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
0 baskets out of 1
Unlikeable characters.
Script
0 baskets out of 1
Messy script that doesn't know what it wants to say.
Acting
0.5 basket out of 1
Annie Ross is still good as Granny Ruth.
Directing
0 baskets out of 1
I guess I just don't get Henenlotter
Technical
0.5 basket out of 1
Creature design is still fun.



Overall
1 baskets out of 5
A step back for the series.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: Basket Case 2 (1990)


Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Starring: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Judy Grafe and Annie Ross
Writer: Frank Henenlotter

I was not the biggest fan of the first Basket Case and honestly I wondered why it got so much love from the Cult Horror circles. Watching the sequel I am beginning to realise. You see the first was just Henenlotter setting up, the sequel is everything I could of hoped for. Flawed but a much more entertaining time.

Things take place after the first, and instead of the brothers dying, it was all a ruse. You see they survived in a critical state. Thankfully they come into contact with Granny Ruth who runs a retreat for other freaks. It's here that the fun really begins.

Henenlotter really let's his imagination run free as we get some really creative freak designs. It helps that the people in the make up just seem to be having an absolute ball. The make up itself is over the top but it does have a unifying factor which makes you believe that all the freaks belong.

Another upgrade to the movie is the acting. Everyone does a much better job and Annie Ross as Granny Ruth is actually a slice of awesome. Kevin Van Hentenryck reprises his role as Duane and is the weakest out of everyone. Mind you he just has to act insane so his bad over acting kind of fits. Kind of.

However the movie still suffers immensely from the script. While Henenlotter let's his imagination go, the movie is a mess with ideas being flung at the audience left and right. There also seems to be an attempt at a message but it kind of misses the mark and fades to the background when you have freaks viciously killing people.

Basket Case 2 still isn't the classic Henenlotter that I've heard about, but it's definitely better than the first movie. I really dug the creature designs as they were over the top but kind of matched the evil Looney Tunes vibe I was getting from the whole thing. At least it makes me want to watch the third in the series.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
1 basket out of 1
A lot more entertaining with an evil Looney Tunes vibe.
Script
0 baskets out of 1
It's a bit of a mess with too many ideas.
Acting
0.5 baskets out of 1
It's better but not great. The point is really for Annie Ross and her Granny Ruth character.
Directing
0 baskets out of 1
I still don't get what all the fuss about Henenlotter is.
Technical
0.5 baskets out of 1
It's cheap but there is some imaginative designs going on.



Overall
2 baskets out of 5
From bad to decent. Some fun stuff but not enough to make it good.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review: DayZ Early Access Edition (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive

Reviewing DayZ was a tough one for me. It's in early access and not a finished product yet. Should I just write a blog entry? A Get Ranty VLog? In the end I went for a review because if it's willing to charge money to get early access then certainly I should write a review to perhaps help people not sure if they should throw caution to the wind and grab it now.

Now I myself would never normally buy an early access game. But DayZ was something I wanted to try since it was only a mod for Arma 3. Thankfully due to some fortuitous steam badge crafting, I got an item someone wanted and so a trade was made and DayZ was mine. So now you know the story of why i'm writing the review, and how I came to have the copy. All that's left is to answer the question, is it any good?

Hell no.

DayZ is merely potential at the moment, because the state that it has been 'released' in is really not a game. Bugs are every where to be found, sometimes they are so bad that they stop we from being able to play. Even when things are running as smoothly as they can, the world is a lonely place where not much happens. Hardly any zombies and a distinct lack of anything to pick up. I've put a few hours into the game and the biggest threat so far has been starvation.

Graphically the game is bad with much needed items popping into and out of reality at the worst time. Many places blend together and I swear houses were all made by the same builder. Combat is also a fairly hit or miss affair.

One outing I was caught off guard by a survivor who was basically naked. As I sat there stabbing him with my bayonet, I eventually succumbed to his fists and wonder how this naked man got so tough. Another outing I managed to find a baseball bat. First two zombies I found I took them down with two shots to the head, the third however managed to turn me into mince meat even after the 20th smash to the head.

But surely any problems I have are moot. This is an alpha, an unfinished product, all these things should be expected. Surely if I was accepted into the alpha with no money changing hands then I should sit down shut up. But early access costs $30 and that's pretty steep for something that's so incomplete. However getting into the idea of paying for early access is something I want to discuss separately later.

DayZ still has potential and could turn out to be a great game, but the cost of early access is not worth it at the moment. Hold off and wait and don't take the plunge. When the game get's fully released I'll review this again and give it a proper review.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Review: Rogue Legacy (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Developer: Cellar Door Games

Legacy isn't merely a word. It defines me, it cements my resolve. When my time is up on this world I shall have created a legacy that no one will be able to ignore.

Well at least this is how I felt when playing Rogue Legacy. Generation after generation fell to various skeletons, floating eyeballs and corrupted knights. But it was all a worthy cause as I eventually made my way to a character that proved to be the one to destroy the end game boss and make all my work worth it. You see Rogue Legacy is a bloody hard game, but if you die you will always get the son or daughter of your previous character to pick up where their parent fell.

It a really neat system and one that lends itself to a harder game. You see even if you die, your off spring inherits any money found and this can be used on improvements. Slowly but surely your family gets better and better and eventually you have a beast of a character that can take on all comers. It takes the sting of death away as you are always progressing and can feel it.

Thankfully the progression system is bolstered by a really tight control system which lays death at your feet. No matter how many times I swore at the screen or cried out in anger, I realised that the only person to blame is myself. This along with that progression system makes for one of the most fun games I've played in 2013. In fact if you look back at previous blog entries you'll see it made it in my top games of 2013.

Beside the game play, Rogue Legacy has little else to offer. The story is intriguing but never made that important, the graphics work but are nothing astounding and the music is harmless but nothing I would want to listen to over and over again. Still the game play is so strong that it never needs any of these things to truly succeed. In fact alot of the so called AAA games can take a note from this. Sometimes you just need to get one thing exceedingly right to truly succeed.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: The Blob (1988)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Chuck Russell
Starring: Shawnee Smith, Donovan Leitch & Kevin Dillon
Writers: Chuck Russell & Frank Darabont

Seven years of age this Monkey was when The Blob came out. I remember when it was released in video stores and also being absolutely terrified of poster that were released for it. Making a vow at that young age, I promised myself that I would never watch this movie.

Fast forward to today and i've watched The Blob remake several times. It's actually a great example of a remake done right, because it not only updates the effects it brings a story that has such a mean streak it's brilliant.

An example of the mean streak is that the movie kills off a child, and it does so pretty gruesomely. Not many horror movies kill off children and it's a testament to how this movie wants you to get worried about it's main characters.

Being a genre flick the acting isn't overly good, but we get some decent performances from Shawnee Smith and Kevin Dillon. Seeming they are the leads it allows for some of the more questionable acting to be overlooked. It was actually nice to see Shawnee Smith in a more substantial role. It was also pleasant that her female character actually does take charge and isn't just a wilting flower.

One of the best things about this remake is that a fair few of the effects are pretty good. There is the occasional clunker, but some of the practical effects are down right gruesome. You can tell that the film makers are having fun with a creature that is formless and acidic in nature. Some great set pieces really emphasis how scary The Blob can be.

I think one of the most annoying things is that the movie is so close to being a classic, but it just has a few faults that keep it from attaining that rank. It's still a great movie and one that I highly recommend. Argument that all remakes suck; you have another nail in your coffin.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
1 blob out of 1
Entertaining and with it's glee in killing decent characters you worry for the leads.
Script
0.5 blobs out of 1
While leaning heavily on genre convention the mean streak freshens the movie immensely. 
Acting
0.5 blobs out of 1
The good acting doesn't help me not notice the really bad acting.
Directing
1 blob out of 1
Chuck Russel really tries to show us the true terror of The Blob.
Technical
0.5 blob out of 1
They're not all winner's but when the effects hit, they hit big time.



Overall
3.5 blobs out of 5
While it's not perfect it's pretty close to being a classic of the horror genre.