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Posts posted by ElfTheHunter

  1. You mean Half Life... that great, but Half Life (and 2) are the fairy tale stories where innovation pays off commerically to equal an all around good game. However, most original games do not fare well in the market space. Usually because they are buggy, problematic, maybe too experimental... Think Celtic Kings. However, then big budget games like Halo or World of WarCraft come around which gather up all that worked from those games and package them into an excellent well polished game. The simple fact is, if all new original games turned out like Half Life we would live in a perfect world, MS would back experimental projects but the problem is, they are not a sure thing, so it's asking a lot for MS dumping millions into a project, that might not do well.

    But I do think MS does a fairly nice job at supporting new games, maybe not as good as Nintendo but I'm happy with clone games, as long as they are really really good. After all, if originality and art sold more than entertainment, the blockbusters would not be superhero movies but innovative thrillers like Memento. It's simply not the way the world is wired.

  2. Did you know that Narnia will use ILM for visual effects, so we will get a showdown between Weta (Kong) and ILM (Narnia) on Oscar night. Of course, Weta Workshop is doing special effects (non-digital) for both films, but we'll get a good showdown next february for digital effects at least.

    Any other intensive visual effect movie that might compete (I'm guessing War of the Worlds). I would be surprised if Potter shows up.

  3. Obviously that is not in-game, however if you see in-game footage you will still be impressed. It can handle the Unreal 3 engine, although the lower resolution does hurt the graphics a little.

    I voted for MS just because of... well, look at my title. However, I do believe that the PS3 may be a beast of a system. And I think MS fears that too, because they seem to be confusing their marketing not on the system but on the service and experience, getting more games and making better affiliations with developers... But I guess we'll have to wait until we hear more about PS3.

  4. Halo and Halo 2 are the best games ever! This is not my opinion, simply fact.

    Ok, it's my opinion. Well not really, to be honest I see Half Life 2 as a better game than Halo 2, but my preference is still with Halo 2. The setting, the story, the characters just speak more to me.

    As for Halo not being revolutionary, you are plain wrong. The rechargable shield gameplay concept was quite original, only carrying two weapons was not very common, vehicle warfare was brilliantly executed (and I think no game had nailed that before, but not certain).

    But the fact remains, Halo revolutionized and resurrected console FPS. Sure, GoldenEye was great, but since that console FPS had died, and Halo managed a controller configuration so well done it became standard for all FPS following it on consoles.

    The graphics challenged those of top of the line PC games, the weapons were more balanced than any game I have played since (except for maybe Halo 2), the A.I. was intelligent and provided a challenging and awesome single-player (similar to HL).

    It's one thing to claim Halo is not the best game in the world (something I can begrudgily agree with) but to claim it is a bad game simply is fallacy.

    And Halo 2 HAS better graphics! Better bump-mapping, higher texture resolutions, more advanced lighting system, better animation and higher poly count.

  5. If you know of a trailer that was released, or a movie not on the list or a change in release dates, feel free to post it here, I'll update (if not too lazy).

    The Island (July 22 2005) -trailer

    The Devil's Rejects (July 22 2005) - trailer

    Stealth (July 29 2005) -trailer

    The Dukes of Hazzard (August 5 2005) -trailer

    Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (August 12 2005) - trailer

    Red Eye (August 15 2005) -trailer

    The Brothers Grimm (August 26 2005) -trailer

    The Cave (August 26 2005) -trailer

    Transporter 2 (September 2, 2005) -trailer

    Cry_Wolf (Septemember 23 2005) -trailer

    Doom (October 21 2005) -trailer

    Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (October 21 2005) - trailer

    The Legend of Zorro (October 28 2005) -trailer

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (November 18 2005) -trailer

    Zathura (Novemember 23 2005) -trailer

    The New World (TBA Novemembet 2005) -trailer

    Underworld: Evolution (December 2 2005)

    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Decemember 9 2005) -trailer

    King Kong (December 14 2005) -trailer

    Big Momma's House 2 (December 16 2005) - trailer

    Delgo (TBA 2005) -trailer

    Mission: Impossible 3 (May 5 2006)

    The Da Vinci Code (May 19 2006) -trailer

    X3: X-Men 3 (May 26 2006)

    Superman Returns (June 30 2006)

    Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest (July 7 2006)

    Jurassic Park IV (TBA 2006)

    Gladiator 2 (TBA 2006)

    Die Hard 4.0 (TBA 2006)

    300 (TBA 2006)

    The Northmen (TBA 2006)

    Spider-Man 3 (May 4 2007)

    Pathfinder (TBA 2007)

    Halo (TBA 2007)

    Alexander the Great (TBA)

    Harry Potter and the Order of Pheonix (TBA)

    Last Legion (TBA)

    Hannibal the Conqueror (TBA)

    Mongol (TBA)

    Minotaur (TBA)

    Gilgamesh (TBA)

    Beowulf & Grendel (TBA)

    Tripoli (TBA)

    Now it is a serious list, I'll try to keep it updated with trailers and release dates.

  6. “No one would have believed in the early years of the twenty-first century that our world was being watched by intelligences greater than our own. That as men busied themselves about their various concerns, they observed - and studied. With infinite complacency, men went to and fro about the globe, confident of their empire over this world. Yet, across the gulf of space, intellects vast, and cool, and unsympathetic regarded our planet with envious eyes... and slowly, and surely, drew their plans against us..”


    War of the Worlds

    Directed by Steven Spielberg

    Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins…

    Rated PG-13 for frightening sequences of sci-fi violence and disturbing images.

    I am a huge Spielberg fan, like the rest of the world, but I am often surprised how differently he is regarded. There truth there is three sides to Spielberg, there is his reverence for World War II such as Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List. There is the lighter side, such as Indiana Jones, E.T. and Catch Me If You Can and then there is the darker side… the one that spawns creations like Jaws, Jurassic Park and now War of the Worlds. And the side I love the most.

    Watch Ability – 10

    Oh my god! This is the summer movie to watch, spectacular explosions and a gut-wrenching fear that is pure entertainment. The first 30 minutes of the movie are the most intense most well paced and brilliantly strong minutes in any film! Why? Because of a combination of things, first there is the supernatural attacks that are so overpowering and spectacular that you feel insignificant and all you can do is run and hide and duck. And you do, as Spielberg had you follow the main characters through the most breath-taking chase ever seen on film. But second, and the most important part is how Spielberg never lets you see the events as an audience but forces you to experience them as the characters.

    Genre Quality – 9

    What is amazing is not the CGI (which is the most amazing and well done CGI I have ever seen) but how Spielberg never lets the real world become a background. It is always there, as Ray (Cruise) walks out into what used to be the street but is cluttered with the remains of an airplane crash and everything just looks so out of this world, and yet so totally part of this world. There were no CGI aliens, no sprawling tripods, no distant backdrops… just real physical objects and effects but so well designed and utilized that the movie manages to blend the line between CGI and reality, so that while you can easily tell that the aliens are CGI and that the road they walk on is real, it is not as easy to tell where they meet. However, the movie eventually shows it’s flaws by simply forcing you to see the too weird to understand sights. When everything else blends so well, the alien creatures drastically separate themselves from the rest. And often you wonder to yourself exactly what is going on, and you fail to grasp the events on the screen. But these are only minor imperfections, it is without doubt the most amazing special effects the world has ever seen.

    Originality – 7

    Steven Spielberg is a classic filmmaker. He loves the classics, and often will re-use powerful scenes and ideas. As an example is the genius scene of the tentacle searching for Ray and his children, however I doubt anyone does not remember the almost exact same scene in Jurassic Park. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that scene. But it’s just some of the recycling (or improving) of ideas. World destruction, alien invasion and disaster movies are not that uncommon. I mean, often I was reminded of Independence Day and Signs and other similar movies. This is itself a remake, but what makes it great is the perfection that tries to achieve. Everything is polished beyond belief.

    Acting – 8

    Well, let’s star with the best: Young Dakota Fanning. The girl is a genius, not new mind you; she was brilliant in Man on Fire as well. Her acting shined in War of the Worlds, adding genuine fear and terror. Her reactions were exactly what you would expect of a 10 year old in that situation. Tom Cruise take second place, he manages to pull off some amazing feats. He struggles with fear, self-preservation, father love, worries. He gains and loses confidence, he is a father trying to save his children but unsure how to. The question is, what would you do in a situation like this. Your children count on you, but what can you do? These are complex emotions, and Tom Cruise manages to handle them fairly well. But where he shined was in disbelief, curiosity and fear. A lot of people claim to hate Tom Cruise, yet I can not understand for the life of me why. He is a brilliant actor, maybe not Russell Crowe Oscar winning caliber but nothing to sneeze at. However, others such as Tim Robbins and Justin Chatwin perform a bit less than hoped for. Of course Justin Chatwin is a newcomer and he was not expected to do great, however he is one of the main characters and pales in comparison to Fanning and Cruise. And Tim Robbins plays a slightly mad and delusional crazy @#$%, so maybe it’s no his acting that is flawed but simply the character himself. But either way, my attention remained on Fanning and Cruise.

    Plot/Story – 7

    First of all, I must state the script is based on H.G. Wells 19th century novel. The tripods, the death beams and all are not original to the movie (as most of you might know). However, I got to thoroughly enjoy the movie since I had never seen the original movies neither read the novel so the story was fresh to me, and I will review it as such.

    The use of microscopic life as the end of the war and salvation to mankind is a genius twist, done all the better by how useless and insignificant Spielberg makes man look.
    Near the end of the movie, if you have not heard the story through another movie or book you are simply baffled and stunned at how the movie will end, since there’s no way mankind can win and the only end you see in sight is either a fade and allow audiences to imagine or actually show the extinction of manking (which seemed quite close at times). But where the story fails is leaving several big questions, which are not needed to be answer to enjoy the movie but on reflection they really begin to annoy you. Such as
    why are the machines there buried for millions of years? Or why do they suck the blood and spit it out into the air? Why did the shields go out? What exactly did the microscopic organism cause that killed the aliens? Why did they come to earth? Why did they not find the fatal flaw in their strategy if they studied us for so long (and in Signs it was even worse with the fault being water).
    But these questions come in second and do not hurt the movie experience, because just as in Signs, they serve only to move the plot. But because there are so many questions and irregularities the story fails to live up to the experience. I do however have several theories about the aliens I would like to share:
    First, about the buried machines. Perhaps these machines are in several planets, buried for when they are to be used. And the lightning bolt is simply the aliens leaving another planet (so it can replenish life) in order to come and harvest ours. So harvest what? Well, my belief is that blood and our inwards are used to either feed the aliens or fuel the machines, because for some reason the insides of the machines are filled with blood. The reason they spit out the blood is so that they can suck in new blood, claiming the nutrients. They may do this until life on Earth runs low, and then bury their machines, jump to another planet and return in millions of years to redo everything. But of course, these theories do not seem to correlate with the narration…

    Music/Sounds – 10

    What can I say, Spielberg makes great movies not because he has a passion for them but because he knows how. He let’s others do what they are best at; he always has ILM do his FX, because they do amazing work. And he always gets John Williams to score his movies, but when Williams and Spielberg really contribute you get amazing suspense and involvement. The beauty about Spielberg is that instead of simply wanting great music, he wants to utilize the music. While Peter Jackson and George Lucas want great theme titles, Spielberg wants something useful that pulls the audience such as the famous Jaws theme, the use of music in the Spider scene in Minority Report and the pure suspense in War of the Worlds. Simply put, War of the Worlds had beautiful music, but was even better utilized to drive the images and scenes.

    Trailer – 9

    It was an amazing trailer, and what Spielberg always does with all his trailers… he does not give away the film. Barely even showing any of the real goods of the movie, but his movies always get true previews, just a glimpse into what happens making you want to see the rest. Example is the casualness the trailer introduces the characters, then the event (lightning storm) and finally builds up to something. Never letting you know what, you simply see reactions and you begin to wonder, what, why are you in a hurry… And then a final shot of a bridge flipping over and bam, that’s the trailer.

    Overall – 8.6

    +: Suspense

    +: Amazing Visuals

    +: Good Acting

    - : A few plot holes

    War of the Worlds is my most favorite movie this year so far. I am totally in love with Spielberg and I hope he keeps his current path into suspense and horror and we continue to see Jurassic Park-like works. However, I am aware it is getting mixed critical reviews (maybe not as drastic as A.I.) but this may push him into another direction, such as the more lighter Catch Me If You Can or action Minority Report which both got good feedback. Spielberg has had a great run of films, starting with A.I. in 2001, Catch Me If You Can and Minority Report in 2002, The Terminal in 2004 and finally War of the Worlds in 2005. I hope he doesn’t need a rest, because I’m loving the steady output of movies!

  7. The trailer has been out for a while I thought.

    It looks good, but I find more interesting the director story behind. The director of the last one was still in the process of post-production and refused to began filming on the new film, so WB decided to hire another director to handle the new movie while Alfonso Cuarón finished Azkaban. He is expected to start on the next film while Mike Newell finishes Goblet.

    This could be both bad and good, the bad is that Cuaron did a very good job with Azkaban (a clear improvement over Columbus) but it still was average and not truly as wide-ranged as I hoped, so maybe Newel can improve (of course, there's a risk of him doing worse).

  8. Well, King Kong was from an island with dinasours (I've never seen the original myself though, so this is just what I gather).

    I watched the trailer before War of the Worlds (expect a review soon). I must say, at first I was incredibly intrigued (it was a never before seen trailer for me so I was intrigued, could have been a scooby doo trailer, I'd still be intrigued).

    Anyway, as they spot the island and up until she screams and they hear King Kong's roar in the distance to Black's " get the camera". I was hooked, however as the trailer progressed (and I realized it was PJ's dream movie) I lost quite a bit of interest. Not enough to not make me see it, but up until that there was a certain mystery to it that I loved. I fear it will be a bit too silly, too CGI, too FX and too much of a summer movie (though in winter). He did an amazing job with LotR, but I wonder if his success has given him too much freedom.

    Still going to see it, but don't expect it to beat Narnia.

    Now I go to write WotW review :D

  9. I'm sure quite a few disagree :)

    an interesting side-note, using the imdb i found the rating of all three SW and put them next to my ratings (all are out of 10).

    Phantom Menance -

    Me: 6.2

    IMDb: 6.4

    Attack of the Clones -

    Me: 7.3

    IMDb: 7.0

    Revenge of the Stih -

    Me: 7.3

    IMDb: 7.9

    pretty close, but it seems I was more dissapointed with RotS than most... I call upon my brainwash and denial theory :P

  10. “You were the Chosen One! You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them. You were supposed to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness.”

    -Obi Wan Kenobi

    Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

    Directed by George Lucas

    Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid …

    Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and some intense images.

    Long time due, I’m sure everyone in the planet has seen it. But just to get it on record, and piss a few SW fans off I’m reviewing it. I actually had the ratings after the first time I saw it, and still stand behind them. So let’s begin.

    Watch Ability – 7

    To me Episode III has been as interesting as the other two new Star Wars. It has some mild greatness to it, or at least treats itself with greatness and respect, but fails to convince us. The fun with light sabers, blasters and alien creatures is accomplished through pure technical achievements but the real entertainment is not there. I saw Episode III once, and simply didn’t feel up to seeing it again (even though my mom offered to pay for the ticket). There simply was no pull to see it again. It gets by on a simply nostalgic jedi-feeling, the sort of search we have to see the original Star Wars in new forms. I’m sure some time I will want to see it again, but when I rent it I will simply be disappointed again.

    Genre Quality – 8

    I’m not going to sit here and say it was bad. It’s Star Wars, if one thing George Lucas is a genius at is special effects and creating amazing scenes. However, the new Episodes have been drowned in their own brilliant special effects. They never allow you to compare and contrast between things, so everything feels slightly redundant and normal. No longer does a vision of an alien planet covered in molten rock with two jedi’s fighting with light sabers take your breath away. However, technically there were no real faults with the quality and even some very good looking scenes. So a slightly good average of 8.

    Originality – 7

    Again, Star Wars coasts along originality simply because of it’s imaginative world. A darker world, I think Revenge fishes to find its spot and does as good of a job as Episode II did, but unfortunately it never does. Kudos to trying, something Episode I doesn’t even do. However the imaginative and original characters and ships just don’t cut it, but keeps this movie’s originality at sea level. There were some breath taking ideas though, such as the spaceships sinking like a titanic-like ship going under, that was very much a cool idea and fitting for a space opera. And there was a certain lack of standard structure, meaning that the usual setup for a plot is missing, it feels a lot messier and mixed (in a good way). Wait until you see Episode IV review :)!

    Acting – 7

    Even though it got the same rating as Episode II, I consider Episode III much better or much worse. This is what I mean, some of the acting I found horrendous. Natalie Portman as Padme just felt dead and uninteresting, like always, it’s possible (in this case probable) that the director may share some of the blame. But I seriously wonder if she tried at all. The Chancellor (McDiarmid) did a good job of delivering very well toned and timed dialogues/monologues. His speeches were very well done and haunting, which is why many are in the trailer, but in the movie his character just never clicks. Even Hayden I’m a bit disappointed with, but this is obvious it’s the plot; his switch just didn’t seem convincing. But, on the other hand… Ewan McGregor did the single most amazing job I’ve seen him do. Not only in bringing his character to life but bridging him with Alec Guinness’s Obi Wan Kenobi. There were often times in Revenge of the Sith that I could see and hear the old Obi Wan from the original Star Wars. Many kudos to Ewan McGregor, if he was the only character in this movie it would be a 10, but since others failed to break the script and make their characters interesting, it gets a 7. I know, I sound pretty harsh. But I know those actors are great and it hurts to see them play shallow uninteresting characters and do nothing with them.

    Plot/Story – 5

    I must say, George Lucas did a fine job of wrapping up all of his fan’s questions. I truly believe that Revenge of the Sith is a script perfectly written to match up with A New Hope. But maybe in all the worries as to whether all the questions are answered and all details add up, Lucas forgot to make an interesting story. There was no surprise, no twist, not even an idea of a story. To me Revenge of the Sith is a documentary of how these characters ended up the way they did. Maybe it was not as bad as Phantom Menance, but it was bad. It gave fans what they wanted, answers, but failed to give me what I paid for, a good story.

    Music/Sounds – 10

    John Williams is a god, and Star Wars is his masterpiece. If you want more information on the Star Wars soundtrack, look up the other two reviews.

    Trailer – 7

    I must say, the trailer was well done. It actually almost was perfect, except for one flaw… the movie. You see, the trailer was simply a collection of everything good in Revenge of the Sith. It give away most of everything the movie had to offer, there was little that I had not seen a preview to. The best dialogue was in the trailer, the best special effects was in the trailer, and the story (being as one-dimensional as it was) easily was told in the trailer. Sure, when I first saw the trailer I didn’t know this, but maybe if I hadn’t seen it some of my impressions might have been better. But it was very well edited and choreographed trailer, kudos to the guy who did it and I pity that it was for Revenge of the Sith.

    Overall – 7.3

    +: Star Wars Music

    +: Ewan McGregor

    - : Documentary Story

    - : George Lucas

    Granted, 7.3 is a bit above average if you think about it. But the reason I dislike Episode III so much is that it should have been so much more. To quote Obi Wan, it was the Last One! It was supposed to be different than the others, not like them. It was supposed to bring balance to the trilogy, not leave it in darkness. And I’m highly suspicious of fans who claim that this movie made up for the last two ones, I think they are partially in denial that the last Star Wars movie they might ever see was bad and partially brainwashed by Lucas…

  11. Rohirrim soldiers were CGIed quite a lot in LotR... but I guess I consider the special effects, as well as lighting, camera angles, shots, cutting, pacing, clothing, make-up, stunts, continuitiy, animation all top-notch in Spiderman 2... If the CGI was used a little too much (which I don't necesserily agree with, but will watch it again looking for it) but even so, I still think the quality is worth of a 10.

    As for Batman being a 9, it's mainly because quite a few shots of Gotham City were obviously CGI, the first Batman attack (when he took down the thugs and captured the mob boss and made the first bat signal) felt oddly cut and a bit confusing (maybe what they wanted), as well as tinier details such as the movements of the bats... those tiny critical flaws along with the lack of amazement (I don't remember being amazed by any scene from batman as I was from Spiderman 2).

    P.S., shall we see if Batman can snag a Oscar for effects? (btw, j/k, I have no illusions that oscars go to the more deserving).

    It seems we'll just have to agree to disagree. Maybe when Batman comes out to DVD I'll make a scene to scene comparison of special effects, that could be pretty cool :)

  12. If there is a New in front, it just means it has been rated with my new formula, if it doesn't it means it was the original ratings I gave it 'free-hand' style and will eventually be overwritten.

    (W=watch-ability, Q=genre quality, O=originality, A=acting, S=plot/story, M=music/sounds, T=trailer)

    NewEth Review #1

    Kill Bill Vol. I (7.6)

    originally 7.9

    W:7, Q:9, O:8, A:8, S:6, M:8, T:8

    NewEth Review #2

    Braveheart (8.6)

    originally 9.9

    W:8, Q:9, O:5, A:10, S:9, M:10, T:5

    NewEth Review #3

    Master And Commander: The Far Side of the World (7.1)

    originally 8.6

    W:8, Q:8, O:6, A:8, S:5, M:7, T:6

    NewEth Review #4

    originally 8.3

    Wrong Turn (4.8)

    W:5, Q:5, O:5, A:5, S:3, M:5, T:6

    NewEth Review #5

    Gladiator (8.8)

    originally 9.8

    W:8, Q:10, O:6, A:10, S:8, M:10, T:8

    NewEth Review #6

    The Last Samurai (8.3)

    originally 9.9

    W:8, Q:8, O:7, A:9, S:8, M:9, T:9

    Eth Review #7

    Swordfish (9.1)

    W:9, Q:9, O:10, A:9, S:9, M:8

    Eth Review #8

    Seabiscuit (9.4)

    W:8, Q:10, O:10, A:10, S:9, M:9

    NewEth Review #9

    Spiderman 2 (8.9)

    originally 9.9

    W:10, Q:10, O:7, A:8, S:8, M:10, T:10

    Eth Review #10

    King Arthur (6.5)

    W:7, Q:6, O:9, A:8, S:6, M:4, T:9

    Eth Review #11

    The Village (9.8)

    W:8, Q:10, O:10, A:10, S:10, M:10, T:10

    Eth Review #12

    Hero (9.9)

    W:10, Q:10, O:9, A:10, S:10, M:10, T:8

    Eth Review #13

    Alexander (9.2)

    W:9, Q:10, O:10, A:8, S:8, M:10, T:9

    Eth Review #14

    Constantine (8.8)

    W:9, Q:9, O:9, A:8, S:9, M:8, T:8

    Eth Review #15

    Sin City (9.6)

    W:9, Q:10, O:10, A:10, S:8, M:10, T:10

    Eth Review #16

    Ricordati Di Me (9.5)

    W:9, Q:10, O:9, A:10, S:10, M:9

    NewEth Review #17

    Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menance (6.2)

    W:7, Q:7, O:7, A:6, S:3, M:10, T:6

    NewEth Review #18

    Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones (7.3)

    W:7, Q:8, O:6, A:7, S:6, M:10, T:6

    NewEth Review #19

    Batman Begins (8.4)

    W:8, Q:9, O:8, A:8, S:9, M:8, T:7

    NewEth Review #20

    Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Stih (7.3)

    W:7, Q:8, O:7, A:7, S:5, M:10, T:7

    NewEth Review #21

    War of the Worlds (8.6)

    W:10, Q:9, O:7, A:8, S:7, M:10, T:7

    Quite a little collection :)

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