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Showing posts from March, 2009

There Is Life without the Internet...

Soon this theory will be put to the test.

Tomorrow I am going to see two movies in a row, Marley & Me (2008) and Watchmen (2009). In that order. The tickets were already purchases online and printed out. Hope it won't be too crowded, especially at the Watchmen showing - it's this movie's local premiere day after all.

And the day after tomorrow I am leaving my beloved country. Indefinitely. There is nothing fun about the trip, but it is something that must be done. I will be living in some shithole with population of around 5K. There will be no TV, no Internet and no PC. Well, I am taking my Macbook Pro, but this machine was not meant to be used for fun.

This is the time for my trustworthy PSP and DS to do a lot of heavy lifting. It will be the perfect opportunity to finally play all the games I bought for those handheld consoles.

Still, I am getting depressed already.

Are You a Real Actor? Academy Awards Cometee Doesn't Seem to Think So

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So, finally I got to finish the famous Heavenly Sword (2007). Back when I bought PlayStation 3 in March 2007, with Metal Gear Sold 4 being indefinitely postponed, this game topped my most anticipated PS3 titles list.

Ninja Theory, the developer of the game, showed the world a couple of trailers long before Sony released its latest console. What was shown in those trailers was literally the state of the art. In my believe Heavenly Sword was to become the most visually stunning video game in the history of video game entertainment.

In September 2007, I got the game hot from the new releases shelf. First 10 minutes of Heavenly Sword were the ultimate jaw dropping experience for me. When I passed the shock caused by the game looks, I started to notice that there is no much going on in this wonderful world. I played it for one hour and got so turned away by the boring gameplay, that I had put the game on a shelf and completely forgot about it up until now.

Heavenly Sword is truly a piece of a…

When in Doubt, Say Yes to Pizza

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So, I went out of town for a couple of days to hit the capital city. I don't usually leave my home town during this time of year, but this time there were several reasons for making the trip.

The main reason was to to the concert of a Russian band called Би-2 (Bi-2). I am not a big fan of Би-2 and like only a single song of theirs, Варвара.

This song is a really great fun, I spent almost two years performing it after getting wasted. I don't know how to play the guitar, but the song can be only played with four simple chords. I didn't all the words, but the chorus consists of only one word. So, me and all of my drinking buddies were ending up singing that single word really loud. These were the best days of my dorm life! This song is the reason I can say that Би-2 has a special place in my heart. As I already said though, I don't like the band overall. I think most of its songs are depressing and sound a bit alike. Also, I don't enjoy the lead vocalists' voice.

Би-…

Don't Trust a Bank!

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Just came back from the movie theater where I watched The International (2009). It is a typical political thriller starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts.

The story follows a generic template. Louis Salinger, Owen's character, is an Interpol agent who is trying to expose a banking organization which is suspected in arms trading. Salinger is always two steps behind and every new lead gets him nowhere. In the end, Louis Salinger realizes that his adversary is too powerful and the only way to fight it is to go "outside the system". The hunter becomes the hunted and Salinger gets an upper hand. But can he call himself victorious? Surely not, one person cannot fight the organization. Typical.

The story is almost as old as the world itself. As for the actors, I never was too excited about Clive Owen and always think of him as the guy who played in Privateer 2: The Darkening. He was good there. Naomi Watts looks much worse than the last time I saw her. It seems that the time was not…

One Thousand and One Nights

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A while ago, I played the latest Prince of Persia (2008). This is the the second series reboot already (there is the Original Trilogy followed by the Sands of Time trilogy) and I was eagerly awaiting its release from the moment I heard about it, being a huge fan of the Prince of Persia franchise.

I ordered the game on eBay and couldn't wait to receive the package. The day the game arrived, I was totally hyped up and cleared my evening plans to be able to completely immerse into the world of a fairy tale.

Without further ado, I would like to say that even if the game looked very impressive in the beginning, I got totally bored with it in an hour or two. Ubisoft Montréal managed to take a step back not only with the Prince of Persia games, but with games in general. Seeing as video games should be the ultimate interactive form of entertainment, I just can't understand why Ubisoft decided to turn their game into some sort of an interactive movie.

There is almost no way to do anythin…

Dan Mahowny Day (Quotes, Part 1)

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Just watched a pretty interesting movie called Owning Mahowny (2003). The movie is based on a book Stung (1987) by Gary Ross which in turn is based on a real-life story that occurred in 1982 in Toronto, Canada.

The movie tells a story about a successful assistant branch manager who is addicted to gambling, his name is Dan Mahowny (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of my favorite actors of all time). Dan lives his life from one gamble to another, he plays to get a thrill and can't ever stop. He doesn't play to win, he plays to lose. If he wins, he uses the money he won to gamble until he loses all.

In order to be able to keep up with his addiction, Dan Mahowny requires a lot of money. He takes advantage of his position to embezzle his employer's money by taking loans registered to a phantom client.

Owning Mahowny is a great fun. The story is interesting and the actor performance can't get any better.

Here is a quote from the movie.

Psychologist: How would you rate the th…

Queens of the Jungle

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TV series is my second biggest passion after video games. I wasn't such a big admirer only some time ago. I was always aware of what TV series is really about, but I never actually sticked to watching any show up until some time during 2003. It was the time I started dating this wonderful girl, lets call her Prussakas (in case you understand what this name stands for, don't be misled, it's actually much cuter than it sounds). It was this girl, whom I will never forget by the way, who opened the world of TV series to me.

I got sucked into it pretty fast. First, I was watching Home Improvement and Friends, but soon I discovered Futurama and Family Guy. Both those shows became my all time favorite (well, Family Guy went sour after the reboot).

Since then, I watched hundreds and hundreds of shows and found out something interesting - even though there are favorites, I tend to enjoy watching just about anything. "No show is a bad show" - I could this line as my slogan, …

Internet, You Lying SOB!

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I took an interest in the Oldboy (2003) OST, so I decided to find out who actually composed it. I did some Internet research and here is what I found on the most popular sites:

* On iMDB there are three different people credited for the OST in question: Jo Yeong-Wook (as director of music), Choi Seung-Hyun and Lee Ji-Soo (both as composers).
* On English Wikipedia only Jo Yeong-Wook is credited.

This is a good example of how frustrating the Internet can be. All this information is not very accurate.

I did some more searching and finally found a person who I decided to contact in order to make things clear, Shim Hyun-Jung. As you might have noticed, her name is not mentioned at iMDB or Wikipedia. This talented composer and a a very nice person agreed to help me.

It came out, it was her who composed 15 (out of 24) tracks for the soundtrack, including the memorable The Last Walts. The remaining tracks were composed by Lee Ji-Soo and Choi Seung-Hyun, and Jo Yeong-Wook was the Music Supervisor…

Oldboy, Old Memories, Wild Wild Boy

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Isn't it wonderful how sometimes when you are thinking about one thing, your mind jumps to another?

Only a short time ago I was writing about Rorschach and mentioned its music, which was borrowed from the Oldboy (2003) OST. Soon after making that post, I started thinking about the movie. I watched it a long time ago and could only remember a couple of things from it (not including the fact that the movie was extremely violent, this is kinda hard to forget).

For one, the octopus which was eaten alive by the main hero. A really memorable scene - octopus' legs sticking out of Dae-su's mouth, swirling. And, of course, the legendary corridor fight scene (a very long continuous take, marvelous). This scene was actually the reason I got to see Oldboy in the first place. I heard about it before I even knew what the movie is really about.

Anyway, it seemed only logical to find the DVD and watch it again. What can I say? It is indeed a very impressive movie, a thriller with a message, …

Rorschach - Can You Pass the Test?

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Recently, I got a chance to talk to Jens Andersson, an ex-employee at Starbreeze video game developing company, now working at LucasArts. Jens is an amazing guy, not only he was the designer of Enclave, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (one of my favorite action games of all time) and The Darkness, he also developed an amazing piece of software for Nintendo DS and iPhone - Colors!.

In addition to all those things mentioned above, Jens created an independent game called Rorschach. This is a very innovative adventure game. The most interesting part of the game is its dialogue system which revolves around the idea of gathering conversation topics while talking with different in-game characters. The selected topics are stored in an inventory and can be used later on to advance the plot. There is a limited amount of slots in the inventory, so it is important to think ahead and select to carry only the appropriate topics in order to save some legwork. That approach to the d…

Grim Fandango. Manny, Were Art Thou?

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There is one thought that constantly saddens me - there is not a chance in the world that there will be another game as good as Grim Fandango. Never ever. Why? Only because an independent developer couldn't pull such a great game and no major video game publisher will agree to finance something like that, seeing that the world is hooked up on the visually stunning games without caring for a solid plot.

Wold of Warcraft Is a Good Bashing Material

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No matter what MMOG you play, unless you block the general channel for one reason or another, it is hard not to notice plenty of people saying how bad World of Warcraft is compared to the current title. I guess this is pretty much inevitable with WoW being one of the most popular MMOGs in the world and all.

The real problem about this is people actually feeling the necessity to bash Warcraft. I have been playing the game for almost 4 years. During that time I tried several other MMO titles, some of them I grew fond of, the others were not to my fancy. And of course, no matter what, I always kept comparing (to some extent) all the games I played to World of Warcraft, as it is kinda impossible not to, the game really set high standards. But, unlike so many people, I really couldn't really say that World of Warcraft was clearly better or the other way around. All the major MMO games are really unlike each other, they all provide the different things to the player. The only thing I can…