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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Movie Review - Buried

Movie Title
Buried
Year
2010
Genre
Drama, Suspense

Story
"Paul Conroy is not ready to die."
But when he wakes up literally inside a coffin 6 feet underground (beneath the scorching deserts of IRAQ), with no idea who put him there or why, life for the truck driver and family man instantly becomes a hellish struggle for survival. Buried with only a cell phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited. Poor reception, a rapidly draining battery, and a dwindling oxygen supply become his worst enemies in a tightly confined race against time- fighting panic, despair and delirium, Paul has only 90 minutes to be rescued before his worst nightmare comes true.

Acting
Ryan Reynolds was superb in his performance here. He plays his role really well, to the point where you feel as desperate as he does for him to escape from the coffin. Having said that, his acting is the ONLY thing worth commending and watching the movie for. But due to everything else that went wrong for me, I would say it wasn't enough to save the movie from being an utter waste of time. Watch Ryan Reynolds stuck in a
coffin for 2 hours? No thank you.

Overall
This review is to save you all from the same misery I went through, yes I was bored and nearly fell asleep. The ending just makes you wish you didn't watch it after all. I shall not spoil it, watch it if you really are curious, or if you like Ryan Reynolds. There is no other reason to watch the show despite the positive reviews it garnered (most are only due to Ryan's acting). Perhaps the plot was well structured to some extent, and you
do feel sad for Ryan's character. Oh and I forgot to mention the claustrophobic feeling you get just watching the movie. It's really dark in there. And I bet the budget for the movie won't even exceed 10 thousand, it is really cheap. I have to emphasize on the dissatisfaction I got right after watching the movie. And wish I never did. This is one movie I won't forget, and it's not for good reasons.

Rating 5/10: (Ryan Reynold's is the only reason I can give it this much)
Guest Reviewer: Serene Chua

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stuff So Good...2011 1st Edition

 Chicks - always on our minds...
Proof that shape changing aliens are among us.
 
Can't keep a good thing down! The 80s are making a come back! (...Transformers, GI Joe, Prince of Persia, etc)
Counting down the Weekly Top 40s discreetly!
We don't condone any racism or partiality!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Comic Review - BPRD:Plague of Frogs 1-5

Title/Storyline
BPRD - Plague of Frogs
Publish Date/Year
2004
Creative Team
Mike Mignola & Guy Davis
Issue(s)
1-5
Publisher
Dark Horse

Story
BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) agents, while on a routine surveillance, recovered a spore from the abandoned ruins of Cavendish Hall where the BPRD had previously battled a demon.While in the custody of BPRD's researchers, the spore grows from a size of a pea to a 15 feet monstrosity inside the BPRD labs in 6 weeks! We learn that it's the reincarnation of the demon the BPRD had defeated earlier at the site - Sadhu-Hem!

The heroes sans Hellboy (Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, Roger, Dr Kate Corrigan & Johann Kraus), return to BPRD HQ to find death and destruction in the wake of the demon monster's escape from BPRD's labs and head out to hunt it down. They track it to a Michigan town called Crab Point where the demon monster transforms the entire town's population into the frog monsters from Seed of Destruction (hence the title).

Despite Liz Sherman using her pyrokinetic powers to raze the town, the demon monster and most of the frog monsters, there were simply too many of them to contain. While most were burnt, many of the frog monsters still managed to escape the conflagration and went into hiding, signalling a long a drawn out series of battles throughout the BPRD series.

Abe Sapien was severely injured in the altercation with the frog monsters. In a semi-conscious state, he had hallucinations that hints at his unrevealed past as an undersea explorer called Caul that even he himself was not aware of until now. (This is a subplot that will be explored further in subsequent BPRD series.)
Dr Kate Corrigan (extreme right)Liz ShermanJohann Krause Roger the Homunculus



Abe Sapien
Art
Guy Davis' art takes a little getting used to (give yourself a couple of BPRD series). You would eventually warm up to his style. It's not the typical style that is suited for the super-heroic type of stories but more for Vertigo and Dark Horse type of books.

His lines look and seem simplistic but convey a lot more than what you would get in the super-hero books. In some instances, his work can be downright creepy!

Overall
The Hellboy & BPRD franchise have some of the greatest stories ever told - mixing serious doses of real world historical mysticism with just enough fiction that makes for a gripping read EVERY TIME! It helps if you read the whole Trade or entire run of the story arc in a single sitting than separately. In fact, I found it next to impossible to top reading it until I got to the last page!

Mignola cleverly injects & mixes the fables, legends, old wives' tales with demons, evil spirits, monsters and monsters into reality (look at the research work referenced in the footnotes peppered across the series) in such a way that readers can almost believe that these things could actually be happening in the real world (OK, squint your eyes a little). In any case, these stories make for great movies - if done right! The 2 movies so far had been entertaining but they kind of lost the potential to be so much more (much like the Daredevil movie, sigh...)

Highly Recommended! Go read it!
Save 34%! Get it here:
B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs Hardcover Collection Volume 1

Monday, January 3, 2011

Comic Review - Doom Patrol 1-8

Title/Storyline
Doom Patrol (5th series)
Publish Date/Year
2009
Creative Team
Keith Giffen, Matthew Clark, Justiniano (#4-5), Ron Randall (#7-8)
Issue (s)
1-8
Publisher
DC
Story
I have to admit That altho I am quite fond of the team of Doom Patrol, I had not read the Vertigo Run or the 
last series before this one (the one with John Byrne doing the art), hence I got a little confused by most of what was going on in the first few issues.

It starts with the death of a new member - Nudge. Then before the team even manages to catch a breath back at their new HQ on the fictitious Oolong Island, they are sent off to deal with a - OK, I'm not trying to
be funny here - a sentient singularity (Black Hole) who is just there to collect knowledge via Borg-style assimilation!!!

Of course the team subdues it/(him?) and brings it back to their HQ just in time for the Blackest Night to happen - where their dead team-mates from their 2nd incarnation rise from the dead and attack them! Ho-hum, they managed to survive the attack and before you know it, more insanity happens.

#6 was the best read in the whole lot as it delved into Negative Man's past. And whether you are familiar with the Doom Patrol stories or not, it serves as a great recap of 1 of the key team members.

#7-8 was there to basically bring back members from the Vertigo era - namely Crazy Jane and Danny the Street/Brick. Also guest starring (I guess, unless Giffen plans to make him a supporting cast member) was Oberon (from Giffen & DeMatteis' Justice League International days)

Art
I'd say Matthew Clark is a pretty good artist. He started off the 1st 3 issues with pretty good stuff. Then Blackest Night happened in #4-5 with the artwork by Justiano - which was OK. I admit I'm not a big fan of Justiano. Then from #6, that's when things go downhill! The issues are drawn by 2 artists - Clark and Ron Randall*. Not that Randall is not good but from #6, the work seems pretty rushed and shoddy.

* Randall has done some pretty good stuff in the 80's & 90's ranging from DC's Conqueror of the Barren Earth to Dungeons and Dragons.

Overall
This has got to be the worst reading experience I have had in the last 12 months! OK, to be fair, it wasn't as bad as removing my wisdom tooth.

Keith Giffen - why oh why did u do this? I applaud him for trying to bring back some of the far-out Wackiness from the Vertigo run, namely Crazy Jane and Danny The Street/Brick. But it made reading the books an absolute pain. His attempt at injecting some humor into a book like DOOM PATROL is akin to adding garlic oil to your favorite choc milkshake!

The constant squabbling between 3 founding members - Robotman, Negative Man & Elasti-girl/Woman is just too painful and contrived to read or believe. He made it extremely difficult even for fans like me to relate or truly care for these beloved characters.

A point to note is that #1-7 had a Metal Men back-up feature by the original team that brought us the Justice Leage International back in the late 80's - Giffen, DeMatteis & Kevin Maguire (yeah, the guys who draws all the the funny faces)

I'd say, skip this series and wait for the next incarnation.