So I love getting screeners in to review, not only do I get to see the film and special features early I also get to add another movie to my collection. On this go around, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to find a twilight fan surprise them with the Breaking Dawn Blu-Ray and have them review it.. Unknown to me I wouldn’t have to look too far.. Come to find out my sister-in law was just that person.. Se was so excited to see the movie and review it.. Below is her little review.. Give your comments below..
In the latest installment of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn pt.1. You finally get to see the much anticipated “for twilight fanatics” wedding between Bella and Edward. Much to my surprise didn’t disappoint, with fantastic special effects and slight comic relief this was definitely a solid performance by a developing cast and the best of the saga thus far. The special features include audio commentary with Director Bill Condon, a fascinating 6 part documentary on the making of breaking dawn-part 1, Take a look into Jacobs Destiny, relive all of your favorite moments of Edward and Bella’s wedding with their personal wedding video, and a jump to option to watch only your favorite scenes of the movie over and over. Blu-ray really brings this movie to life with the stunning quality and is definitely a must own for your personal library.
First of all I must admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the first Downey Sherlock Holmes movie, and I’ve always loved the many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes, especially so with Steven Moffat’s Sherlock on the BBC. I was never too big on Holmes as boxing/martial arts champ, though I did like how true to the character if he was to be like that he would see the fight even before it happened. Even with that Downey and Law saved what would have been a mediocre film and made it just a little better. My huge problem with the movie was more the chemistry between that version’s Watson and Holmes. The whole movie felt like Watson as just annoyed at having to be around and Holmes and putting up with his abusive demeanor for now reason. I felt no respect from Watson for Holmes and it just felt like their relationship was forced. This is why I walked into the press screening for Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows with no high expectations and in the first few minutes of Act 1 I was beginning to feel justified as such.
Again the relationship of Watson and Holmes seemed just as baffling to me, and now Holmes was acting as Watson’s best man, from the interactions of the first movie I was amazed that Holmes was even to be invited to Watson’s wedding let alone be his best man. This coming to a head at Watson’s “stag” party which was just a ploy to get Watson to assist in solving another mystery he had come across trying to prove Professor Moriarty was a master criminal. Why this military man would put up with this was beyond me, but finally I think the writers realized what was wrong and showed us that not only does Holmes care, by getting Watson to his wedding on time, though in dubious condition but that he truly respected and cared for Watson even though he doesn’t show it. This is when finally Downey’s Holmes became a three-dimensional character for me. Almost tragic, when after the wedding he enjoys the site of the new couple from the shadows, place that he inhabits due to the way his mind works, this is the Holmes I love.
Jared Harris as Moriarty is absolutely brilliant in his role, and in true American fashion, and to make him an equal to Holmes, he is also a boxing champion so that the two’s epic “battle of wits” can take place at the closing of the film. I love the way they show Moriarty’s ability to misdirect and outwit Holmes early on in the film and just keep him down as the underdog in this showing. Truly the writing and direction have vastly improved from the 2009 film.
Now to the best part of the film for me, Noomi Rapace debut to a Hollywood film’s audience as the main female lead. If you have not seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy you are missing one of Sweden’s best film work and you need to watch all these on Netflix’s instant queue. She is one of the best actresses I’ve seen in years and I can’t wait to see more of her. Though her part is small and they don’t give her too much to do, she still manages to still the scene from Downey again and again.
My last favorite aspect of the movie is the great Stephen Fry, I love this man with a passion. He is other great actor in the film for me. Finally Mycroft has life breathed into him. He is so funny and so essential to making this film work that I just loved every scene he was in. It was a good break from the seriousness that surrounds the rest of the film and makes for some breakout laughs, that was best captured in the closing credits.
This movie in every way is ten times the movie that the first Sherlock Holmes was in 2009. This is the film that Holmes deserved from Hollywood the first time around. I
So I am not a huge Twilight fan or part of Team Jacob or Team Edward, I am just an innocent by stander in this little craze.. So when I got the invite for the press screening I wasn’t jumping out of my seat to RSVP… As I sat there watching the trailer for the first time, I thought to myself, Someone near and dear to my heart is a Twilight fan and may just indeed enjoy going to see this film before its released.. So I contacted my Mom, which is something I sometimes neglect to do, and asked if she would be interested in going…. Her reply was as follows “Are you joking OF COURSE I WOULD LOVE TO!”, So I told her that she would have to write a review that I could post on the site. The following is my Mom’s Review of Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1.. Enjoy…
It is said those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, but remembering everything is quite a chore these days. Luckily for most of us, there’s an app for that!
Today In History from Down-Shift Inc. is an app that gives history buffs an easy, high tech way to access historical information. Facts and trivia nuggets are spoon fed in a day to day format. Each calendar day will show you events of that date in past years, beginning with the most recent and spanning backward. It literally is an encyclopedia of historical information for each day of the year. To find out more about a certain event on the list, simply touch it to reveal a page with further insight and external links with more data. Customize the events by logging in with Facebook or create and account to add comments to the event page. Favorite those you want to keep track of or add your own events and create a personal timeline. Of course make sure you keep it social by sharing with friends on Facebook, Twitter or email.
There are over 100,000 notable events listed within the app, along with famous births and deaths of that date, plus holidays and observances. There is no internet connection required to view the information and Wikipedia links enable users to discover even more
An action-thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.
Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion is a modern day horror film that’s as scary as any movie I’ve seen this year. It’s a film that at times comes across like the most interesting science class you’ve ever sat through because you feel like if you don’t stay till the end you won’t know how to kill the monster and save the day when it happens to you. Unfortunately there is no big bad monster in this film you can kill in the last act in the hopes of saving your friends, instead life or death decisions are left to bureaucrats and government scientists who may or may not have your best interest at heart. What makes this film so scary is that it may be happening as we speak and there is literally nothing you could do to stop it from happening.
Contagion follows a world wide pandemic as it gallops across the globe leaving a trail of death and destruction in it’s wake. Soderbergh’s camera follows multiple characters throughout the film who have all been affected in one way or the other by the deadly virus. Some are struggling with the aftermath of the disease and it’s legacy of death, some are working night and day to find a cure and save our population from certain doom while others are simply looking to strike while the iron is hot and make a quick buck while the world burns around them.
Soderbergh has gathered an ensemble cast full of great actors who deliver performance that are usually relegated to much smaller character pieces. He does an amazing job of putting quality actors in a position to deliver solid, nuanced performances that in the hands of other directors may not have been nearly as effective.
Matt Damon’s conflicted portrayal of a man who discovers his wife’s infidelity only after she is killed by the virus is both heart breaking and inspiring. Having lost his wife and step-son on the same day he is now taxed with keeping his daughter safe and does everything he can to keep her safe. His restraint and dedication to his daughter while everyone else around him is losing it is admirable and inspiring to watch.
Also excelling is Jude Law in a role that is miles from anything he’s played in recent years. Law’s character is an internet celebrity of sorts who believes in government conspiracy and world wide collusion by the elites and spends his days trying to expose the hypocrisy of the people in charge all the while trying to profit on the tragedy around him. He believes he has found a cure for the disease and it just so happens that he is set to profit wildly as the masses search for a magic cure to the threat of death that now surrounds them. Laws character is both ruthless and cunning but he also has heart and even though he is profiting off of death, he truly believes the things that he is doing are going to some how save the world.
Contagion is a master class in film making that will inflict a paranoia upon you that will have you washing your hands and avoiding sick people in your office at all cost. Lingering shots of recently touched surfaces leave your skin crawling because you know exactly what it means for the next person to touch that surface. It’s also a film full of flawed characters put in a no win situation and yet it somehow is able to draw hope and strength from such a dire situation. Soderbergh’s directing skills are in top form as he weaves a tale that is both interesting, informative, inspiring, and terrifying all at the same time. It’s a film worth seeing because honestly it is a blueprint for a very real situation and how easily it could happen and how helpless we would all be. I would certainly recommend checking this film out, just remember to wash your hands first. I would hate to think that then next great pandemic could start in a movie theater while watching a movie about the next great pandemic.
Matt Naismith and Will Simers thought they had this College thing figured out. One trip into the depth of Irvine State University’s library has them rethinking everything!! Witness as they unearth the Tomb of the ZOMBIE OUTLAW!!!
With the recent runaway success of The Walking Dead it seems that zombie comics are suddenly everywhere again. A lot of writers are looking to jump on the bandwagon in the hopes of earning a quick buck by making something that looks like TWD but unfortunately for them they mostly comes off as what they are, a second rate knockoff. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I received my copy of Zombie Outlaw #1 in the mail. Zombie Outlaw is an interesting take on the zombie tale that’s not afraid to try something original and move away from what everything else is doing.
As far as origin stories go it was certainly nothing I’ve seen in any other comics before. It’s a bit of a romantic comedy setup mixed in with some wild west zombie attack flashbacks and what may be a promising bromance. When Matt Naismith is paired with the girl of his dreams as his lab partner he looks to his friend Will Simers in the hopes of getting some help wooing the lovely lady but Will’s research for his thesis does not go as planned and now they all find themselves on very unfamiliar turf.
I enjoyed reading this comic very much. Like I said before it’s an interesting and original take on the tired zombie concept. I enjoyed the quick pace of the writing and found the art style to be interesting and original which is not something you see every day in the comic world. I would certainly recommend picking this up and I hope to see more work from these guys in the future.
Junkies, the app world peaks my interest so naturally because I am a gamer at heart. Maybe this dates me, but Nintendo and Sega Genesis were popular babysitters at my house. Sega being my favorite console because it had such great games. They were challenging and looked better than any other games I had played. I especially loved the arcade turned console games where there wasn’t as much skill involved as it was button mashing fun. Sega has definitely translated some of this genre to the app store and one that kept me reminiscing was Virtua Fighter 2.
Virtua Figher 2 for iPhone is a throw back to the original. You won’t find too many changes here as it seems Sega’s approach is to be completely classic. While I like this about the app, some may not. No elevated graphics or additional levels, just a true game to app conversion. 2D graphics, 8 classic fighter characters and 8 themed stages are what you get. It transports me to another time where I could do battle with my brothers in my living room, and win!
The game is quick to load with Play, Options and Help buttons available on the home screen. The Help will give you instructions on how to play and control settings. Unfortunately the controls can not be changed. When beginning the fight you can play alone with a new game or continue your previous one as your progress is saved. The one new innovative feature to this app is the ability to play a multiplayer game through Bluetooth, which allows you to play against another iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch opponent.
The game is played in the classic arcade mode. The controls are a familiar directional pad and A, B and C buttons to kick, punch and block. Before your game has begun you can also configure options such as setting your enemy level at Easy, Normal or Hard. You can even change the time limits and size of the life gauge. Once the fight is set as you like you will choose your fighter. Then punch and kick your way to victory to challenge the perfect fighter, Dural. Each fighter has over 25 unique moves and if you unlock the final boss Dural, you can play him in future challenges.
Virtua Fighter 2 is definitely a fun to play button masher for the iPhone. At least with this version, it won’t leave your thumbs sore! At a bargain price of $1.99 it is sure to bring back memories that are priceless. Now all you have to ask yourself is – “Do you have what it takes to become champion?”
In case you have been living under a rock, Google’s new social media venture Google+ came upon the internet scene last month, launching with an invite only member program. It’s been the buzz of the social media community and the hype is good. All it needed to seal the deal was an app. Well Tuesday, it came to iOS.
Google+ for mobile is the compliment to it’s web counterpart. The design is very uniform, sticking to the Google color scheme on a white background. The new black bar is also present, as a notification bar. This bar is on the home page along with the Stream, Huddle, Photos, Profile and Circles options. Simply choose an icon to take you to the option. The Stream is much like
the familiar Facebook news feed, consisting of all the updates from your Circles. Swiping right or left gives you two more options, Nearby and Incoming Messages. Nearby displays updates and check-ins near your location and Incoming Messages will store exactly that.
The newest and most talked about inventions of Google+ is its organization feature Circles and messaging system Huddle.
Lately I have been perusing the Entertainment section of the app store. It is filled with wonder and yet asinine concepts. There are some true time killers among the selection, and some true wastes of time. After finding the highly stimulating Songify earlier this week, I went back looking to find some more entertainment gold. And then, eureka!
Video Time Machine. (Is there a more intriguing title?) Literally travel through time with this awesome video app that has been
Games, games, games. Since the immense success of Angry Birds, the App Store is flooded with games. Some good, some bad. It has turned this little gadget we call a phone into a portable gaming system. And with most at .99, or even free, it
There has been a lot of talk over the last few months that Michael Bay was learning from the shortcomings of Transformers 2 and that part 3 would redeem him and his previous efforts. This movie was going to get away from the silly stuff (racist robots?) and other nonsense that turned people off so much regarding T2 and focus on creating interesting characters and telling a story that would make people forget how bad his previous effort really was. Well in my humble opinion, the rumors of Michael Bay’s growth as a filmmaker have been greatly exaggerated. The entire “he’s a different filmmaker now” schtick is apparently a marketing ploy to lure you back to the theaters because from my point of view there is nothing different in T3 that we haven’t see before in the previous sequels, except for the fact that it was shot in 3d and they made it about 30 mind numbing minutes longer. Transformers 3 is no better or no worse that the previous films and only exist as an extravagant example of everything that is wrong with Hollywood film making today.
Early in the film we find out that a secret Autobot ship crashed on the moon in the 60′s and our entire space program was built around the fact that we wanted to get what was on that ship before the Russians did, and we did it. We went to the moon with a secret plan to investigate the crash site and we were able to fool everyone and no one ever told a soul. They were so good at keeping this a secret that not one even told the Autobots that the ship was there in the previous two movies because if they had these sequels would not be necessary, but I digress. The secret items on the ship would have allowed the Autobots to defeat the Decepticons on their home planet and they would have never reached our planet. The next 2 hours are spent confusing us with double cross after double cross as robots jump sides, humans jump sides, and in the end an entire city is destroyed as the Autobots try to prevent another planet from being tele-ported into our atmosphere. That’s right, the secret weapon that was on the moon would allow the Decepticons to transport their planet to our atmosphere so they could force us to rebuild it for them. Really? Another planet right on top of ours? This is the best you could come up with? Hollywood pays people millions of dollars to write stories that are ultimately thrown in the trash and this is the best of all those ideas? Someone needs to check that trash can because I’m sure something that was thrown away had to be better than this.
Transformers 3 is an uneven mess of plot holes, dead ends, characters who are introduced and disappear without reason, and some of the worst robot acting seen since the old go-bots cartoons. The “robots” when left on screen to interact are lifeless and dull. We’ve grown accustomed to human emotion. When someone is angry we don’t just hear it in their voice, we see it in their face and their body language. There was none of this in regards to the Autobots or Decepticons. Just shiny robots with dull voice acting. Oh how I wish that was the worst thing about this movie. Let’s move on.
There are whole sequences in T3 that just seem to defy logic. There’s a sequence near the middle of the film where in the span of about five minutes the Autobots are the saviors of the universe, then kicked off the planet for no apparent reason (humans sided with the Decpticons who had previously been trying to destroy the planet. Really?), killed by a Decepticon who was hanging out in space just so he could shoot down their spaceship, only to have them return a few minutes later to save Shia and friends at just the right time. They spend the first hour of the movie setting up this scene, it all builds to this, then in the space of five minutes everything Bay has built up to this point is wiped clean and he ends the movie with an hour long battle scene that really has very little to do with the first hour and thirty minutes you already sat through. For fans of film making who enjoy a well thought out plot unfortunately this is not the movie for you. I’m sure the guy sitting next to me in the theater thought that something was wrong with me because of the sheer amount of groaning and sighing I was doing in the last hour of the movie.
The only redeeming feature this movie has is the way it was shot. This is probably the best live action movie I’ve seen in 3D. Bay did a really great job of shooting this film and the attention they paid to creating depth instead of just having gimmicks fly at the screen is to be commended. With that being said, I still hate 3D. The hyper violent fight scenes between the Autobots and Decepticons is often a blur of flying metal, fire, and explosions and it is often really hard to tell who’s who in the major battle scenes and the 3D doesn’t help. It all becomes a big mess and I just have to wait until the fight’s over and if the idiot sitting behind me is cheering then I know the Autobots won.
When it comes to remaking childhood cartoons into big budget films it’s never a sure bet. Transformers never really translated well from what I remember watching and reading as a child into what Michael Bay put on the big screen and I don’t really blame him, it’s just a type of story that people can’t really relate to anymore. We are surrounded by technology on a daily basis and artificial intelligence doesn’t seem like such a foreign concept but there was a time when that idea only existed in comics and cartoons and that was what the Transformers were to me in the 80′s. They represented what the future was going to be like for a kid who didn’t even have a color TV until he was in his teens and didn’t own a computer until he was in his twenties. For the teens of today who are inundated with technology on a daily basis, this movie is made for you. Me, I’ll stick with my comics and my old cartoons and do my best to forget what a mess was made of a story that I once believed could have been our future.
In Gameloft’s BackStab, the gamer becomes Henry Blake, an officer in the Royal Navy currently battling the Spaniards. Immediately thrust into battle, the beginning of the game gives a good tutorial in moving and battling with your new found hero. Armed with only a sword at first you thrust and slash your way through enemies, even sparring sword to sword with them in defense. You are tutored through your companion Kane, who you follow throughout the beginning levels. The missions involve multiple weapons including cannons and pistols, all which allow for a slow reloading time, giving it more of the period feel. You can aim at targets at a distance and are even challanged with adjusting for moving enemies.
The controls are very well done, giving you the feel of a console version, complete with analog stick control and attack buttons. I especially liked that that the analog button was able to be moved depending on your thumb’s placement. This made for less mistakes when moving the character around the world. The graphics are definitely Gameloft’s best, with the opening sequence a beautiful scene to watch. The world is 3D and as you move Blake you are able to adjust the camera. Though this is a nice touch, sometimes the camera angle would would cause you to fall if it wasn’t placed right. The option of an automatic follow for the camera, or at least a way to center it behind the character would have been helpful. There are a few other gliches with the geometry of the levels and some characters floating in air, but nothing that messed with the actual gameplay.
As the storyline progresses Blake finds out his buddy Kane has flipped sides, thus the name BackStab, and Blake is captured and imprisoned. On his day of his execution he is rescued by a busty heiress and escapes. Once back in his hometown, Blake changes his appearance and becomes a rogue killer seeking revenge. The story is basic but a good one to layer gameplay on. Once in the town the world is open and Blake is free to roam around, buying goods, weapons, houses – or even getting frisky with the ladies of the night. Though be careful, not all characters are as they seem and will rob you at the drop of a hat! The open world is very familiar bringing back all the enjoyment of a Grand Theft Auto type game with the freshness of a new time period and storyline. It makes for excellent replay value as there is always more to discover. At the price of just $6.99, BackStab is a great value and is sure to keep you coming back for more.
Junkies, the land of iOS is a vast and beautiful one, we can all agree. It definitely has quite a lot of strengths. But like anything else, there are some weaknesses. For one, the lack of Flash ability. Now I know, or I keep hearing, that Flash is on it’s way out, but there are still so many that use it. Much of the sites that do are still very popular. There’s nothing I hate more than to click a link for a video on my iPhone only for the error that it is not compatible. Now there have been a few apps that have tackled this problem in the form of a browser, but my favorite multi-function app that tackles this problem and several others is Splashtop Remote Desktop.
The Splashtop Remote Desktop app works with Splashtop Remote software to give you access to your computer remotely. This allows you to access your computer from a totally different location, whether it be for a file you left for work or to watch Hulu from your computer’s browser. You can also listen to music and run your programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc. Work on anything right from your phone! The best part is that it will do this on not only WiFi, but 3G and 4G as well! Just sign in with a GMail account to use the internet to discover your computer.
The setup is minimal and super easy. Download the software for your version of Windows or Mac and then the app from the app store. Once the software is running and app is configured you are off and running. Now the software must be running and your computer be on for you to gain access, but when you do, it works really well. There are built in touch control shortcuts for scrolling, drag and drop and right click. There is also a little button in the bottom right corner to bring up the keyboard. It is so simple and works exactly as advertised. I also think it works great if you’re one of those that use your computer as and entertainment center. It gives you a true universal remote to play your internet videos and music.
Now the description for this app does say that it streams “smooth, high-res video and audio”. I had no trouble hearing and understanding any audio for sure, and I could type in Hulu and definitely watch a video. Was it smooth? Not exactly. Now maybe if you have movies stored on your computer, running them would be easiest as you would be using the computer to process, but the buffering made the online videos lag. Of course this all depends on your network and process speed of your computer and Splashtop does recommend a computer with dual-core CPU for best performance. With the right hardware this app could definitely make the iPad a definite multimedia dream.
Overall Splashtop Remote Desktop is a great multi-task app that anyone could find useful for a number of reasons. Get it now as they celebrate their #1 app status in 49+ countries and have knocked the price from $4.99 to $1.99! Splashtop also comes in iPad and Android versions, all which are also on sale. Junkies, add it to your collection and never be more than a click away from your home PC.
I am not a fan of the Green Lantern Comic. I don’t really dig the superhero ethos and I find the DC Universe that the Green Lantern Corp exists in a bit confusing and at times even a bit overwhelming (after all it does contain over 7200 members). I know they are not all featured but they do tend to get in the way when it comes time to tell a good story. All of this plays a major role in the main reason I was not exactly excited to see Green Lantern. The trailers didn’t exactly blow me away and the general lack of interest on my own part mixed with the fact that early review were trashing this movie from top to bottom certainly left me with a bit of trepidation regarding Hal Jordan’s big screen adventure. What I found was a movie that was somewhere in the middle of high expectations (from others not me) and the worst of the worst reviews that have been going around. Green Lantern is a middle of the road super hero movie that at times delivers some nice action-adventure style entertainment, but generally failed to keep my interest due to two of the weakest super villains I’ve ever seen as well as a script that seemed more interested in establishing Ryan Reynolds as a ladies man with daddy issues than a superhero worthy of wearing the ring of the Green Lantern Corp.
The story is a familiar one, Hal Jordan is a cocksure test pilot/ full time jerk who is struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps. He’s constantly pushing himself to the limit to live up to the legacy left for him by his dead father but is secretly scared to death of failing to live that standard. At his lowest moment he is chosen by a dying alien to become his replacement in the Green Lantern Corp. He ultimately must prove to himself and to the other Green Lanterns that he is worthy of the ring as well as capable of saving us all from the evil Parallax who (suprise) feeds on fear.
Yes it’s as garbled and convoluted as it sounds. At times I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on as there were huge chunks of the movie that were apparently cut to get this movie down to a reasonable (watchable) time. There seemed to be huge leaps in logic that got Hal Jordan from point
George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who’s made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.