Rubber – Review of a Tire Movie

Rubber is not for everyone. I first found out about it less than a week ago. The idea is simple enough, a tire wakes up in the middle of a desert to discover it has telepathic abilities and can kill using those abilities. Yes, you read that correctly, a tire. From a car. It doesn’t matter which one, front or back, driver side or passenger side. It’s a movie about just a tire. Except it’s not a tire (which it is – for no reason).

Rubber is directed by Quentin Dupieux and what he turns out is a very David Lynch style film; mix in a dash of irony, and a massive heap of things that happen for “no reason” and you have exactly what Rubber is all about.

When I discovered that this film existed, less than a week ago I wish to point out, I went to Netflix and added it to the top of my list. It arrived today and this evening I sat down to watch it…

A little slow in the beginning, actually very slow for the entire duration, but if you are watching it for fast action, you are watching it for the wrong reason. The reason this should be watched is for the storytelling. Everything in movies has been done before. Rubber is no exception, at least as far as the world of inanimate objects coming to life goes. We have an entire car (Christine), a child’s doll (Child’s Play), the list goes on and on. However (and no I’m not going to compare this movie’s story to that of Christine – Stephen King is by far the master, and always will be), what does set this movie apart from other so called horror movies, is the story itself.

There are, in essence, 2 different “universes” going on in Rubber. There are the Spectators and there are the Actors. I don’t want to go into any spoilers as to how everything is pulled off and executed, but suffice it to say this movie will stay with you after you have seen it. I’ll warn you now, it’s artsy. It’s not for everyone. It’s a “thinking person” movie. You have to have an open mind, and be ready to suspend disbelief.

Personally, I enjoyed it and give it 4 stars out of 5.

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Dead Island review

Everyone needs a vacation.  Work can stress you out, family can stress you out, friends can stress you out, and even the nightly news can be stressful to watch.  It’s times like these, when you are feeling stressed, that’s it best to remove yourself from the situation and plunge yourself deep into a hypnotic vacation of sandy beaches and refreshing beverages.

Ahhh… I can practically feel the sand between my toes and the taste of piña colada gracing my taste buds.  Never mind that drunken guy stumbling his way towards me.  Wait a second, let me sit up, is that blood?  Oh wow, this guy cannot hold his booze!  He has one massive head injury!  Whoah!  He is growling at me and inching closer!  This vacation is not releasing the stress at all!  Oh my, look!  There’s more making their way towards me!

Welcome to Dead Island, developed by Techland and produced by Deep Silver, this looks to be what zombie enthusiasts have been hungering for since the original Left 4 Dead.  That’s not to compare the two, but rather to say that while there have been other zombie games come out, none will match up to what Dead Island is going to do.

The game takes place on a fictional tropical island, Banoi, found in Papue New Guinea.  In essence you start off trapped in a hut on the beach with a few other survivors (3 to be exact).  From there you simply start your assault against the undead.  This is going to be a fully featured sandbox game, that is, you will be able to go anywhere and pick up almost anything.  It supports up to 4 players (more on them a couple of paragraphs down) in co-op mode, both on a local host as well as online.  There is a skill tree system (although it’s not exactly what you may think, it’s not set up like WoW’s), customizable weapons and vehicles, experience system, stamina bar, and loads of other features.

Stamina bar?  Yep!  That means that as you move through the game, performing certain actions or carrying certain items, you can get winded.  Just stop, sit down, and take a little break.  Let your energy build back up, just keep an eye out for flesh eating monsters while you are sitting there.

As with other games, there will be weak zombies and tough zombies.  The game also plays heavily with the environment.  Flashlights will be used at night, water will evaporate based on the amount of sunlight present, it can rain based on the amount of clouds (even snow or fog).  The elements will be generated based on the humidity and the time of year that is in the game.  Yes, they have made this a very dynamic game to play in.

Even the characters and zombies have several “layers” of bone, muscle, and skin.  What’s that mean?  From what has been said it means that if you pick up a small rock and throw it at a zombie, it may break the skin exposing the muscle underneath.  If you go swinging with an axe you may dig right though the skin and muscle and expose bone (or perhaps even cleave right though).  Gone are the days of just shooting in the general direction and the thing you are aiming for dies.  Did I mention this game was going to be quite dynamic?

You will get to choose one of 4 characters to play.  Xian Mei, female, works at the resort.  Sam B, male, rapper.  Purna, female, unknown.  Logan, male, surfer dude.  Yeah, don’t let the professions fool you.  It’s a random group thrown together.  It has also been reported that they are immune to the zombie infection.

Think your last vacation with the family was hell?  Next time go to Dead Island.  They can’t wait to give you a rip-roaring good time.  Just be sure to bring an extra pair of undies, you may very well need them.

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Battle: Los Angeles a review

Several months ago a movie came out called Skyline. I saw it on opening day and saved you guys the trouble of the review because, yes, it was that bad. Had it come out on perhaps a made for TV Sci-Fi station it might have been okay to glance at every now and again, but as it was, it was pure crap.

The same cannot be said about Battle: Los Angeles. BLA starts off with an All Star cast, Aaron Eckhard (Two-Face from Dark Knight) heads up a Marine platoon against an all out battle of the ages.

There is wonderful character development, introducing the key players through small vingettes. Once the major battle begins, which is pretty much from the start, it simply does not stop. Which, if I had to complain, might be the only thing I would complain about. The movie clocks in at 116 minutes (just over 2 hours once you count in all the commercials and previews), so it’s not that long of a movie, but the battle scenes could have certainly been edited down a fair amount. Don’t get me wrong, the battles were good, full of neat eye-candy, and in-your-face, and well, yeah, that’s the title of the movie.

I’d recommend it if you are looking for a fun sci-fi movie. Lots of action. The story is very driven, and is actually less about an alien invasion as it is more about the camaraderie among the people thrust into this extraordinary situation.

Short version: I recommend it.

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Magic the Gathering Mirrodin Besieged Doom Inevitable

Okay look, it’s rare when I come across a card that really WOW’s me. I build odd decks. Really odd decks. Ones that don’t seem like they should win, but 75% of the time they do. As we all know, February 4th is the official release date of the newest Magic the Gathering set; Mirrodin Besieged.

What I’d like to do is highlight one card that will cause me to break down a previous deck and rebuild it.

Today I picked up one of the intro packs, Doom Inevitable (blue and black deck) and a couple of boosters. The foil rare within very nearly caused me to wet my pants. I’m talking about Psychosis Crawler.


Now, I don’t normally play with artifact creatures. I don’t normally play Type 2 (or extended, or current, or whatever the most up to date term for that format is). I play Type 1 (Legacy is what I think you kids are calling it now). Black Lotus, Moxen, yeah, those kinds of cards. Anyway, I digress..
Okay, Psychosis Crawler…

For a measly 5 Colorless Mana you can pop out a */* artifact creature (it’s a Horror by the way), who’s power and toughness are equal to the number of cards in your hand. To add insult to injury each time you draw a card, each opponent loses 1 life!

I cannot imagine this guy is going to go for too much cash or be too valuable in trades mainly because you get one in every Doom Inevitable intro pack!

Just think of all the combos here… Howling Mine, Mystic Remora, Horn of Greed, Braingeyser, Gush, Ancestral Recall… oh man oh man it just goes on and on and on!

Okay, okay, I know I just got caught up on the very 1st card I’ve seen from Mirrodin Besieged. You want to know more right? Well, the best thing I can say is, go out and buy some! Let’s face it, you would not have read this far down if you were not into Magic the Gathering. Chances are if you are into Magic the Gathering then you know Mirrodin Besieged is very nearly here. You know you want a pack or two. Hell, you still have some cash saved up from Christmas time. Go spend it on some Magic!

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Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers to PlayStation®3 System

Wizards of the Coast Brings Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers to PlayStation®3 System

November 23, 2010, Renton, Wash. — Wizards of the Coast today announced the North American launch of Magic: The Gathering –Duels of the Planeswalkers on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. Wizards has been working with Sony Computer Entertainment America to bring the popular digital extension of the worldwide Magic: The Gathering franchise to PlayStation®Network.

Already one of the most downloaded games on Xbox LIVE® Arcade and on PC via the Steam® platform, PS3™ gamers will now be able to join in on the action that Magic: The Gathering in digital form brings. Complete with crisp 3D graphics and animations, robust game play and a user-friendly interface, players can battle real life opponents or play through an extensive single-player campaign that offers unrivaled depth in which each game is different.

The core game is now available on PlayStation Network for $9.99 and all three expansions are available for $4.99 each.

 

Duels of the Planeswalkers is quickly proving to be the ideal way to introduce new players to Magic and reintroduce lapsed players back to the game. As its popularity continues to grow, Duels of the Planeswalkers will certainly be a driving force behind the birth of a whole new generation of Magic fans.

Special Launch Offer!

Celebrating the launch of Duels of the Planeswalkers on PS3, consumers that purchase the game will receive a special art foil Planeswalker promotional card (while supplies last). For additional information on Magic: The Gathering—Duels of the Planeswalkers and the promotional card, visit www.duelsoftheplaneswalkers.com.

About Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), is the leader in entertaining the lifestyle gamer. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, Magic: The Gathering, among many other trading card games and family card and board games. Wizards is also a leading publisher of role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast Web site at www.wizards.com.

Wizards of the Coast, its logo, Magic: The Gathering, Magic, Duels of the Planeswalkers and Dungeons & Dragons are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. “PlayStation” and “PS” Family logo are registered trademarks and “PS3” is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners. ©2010 Wizards.

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