Friday, February 26, 2010

Precious (Drama 2009)

Right...so this movie was about this chick who was having her 2nd baby, had a crazy mom who abused her, was illiterate and not very smart, and overall just had a shitty life.

So yeah instead of aborting the baby, she has it and begins down the road of welfare and unemployment. One thing I learned from this movie was that welfare actually exists...like people can go down to some office and say that they have no job and I guess the government will give them money? Enough to kinda live on? Odd...I really didn't believe this actually existed. From the story supposedly you can be on welfare more/less forever because it did not seem like the mom in this film was going to be employed anytime soon. So yeah I'm all about lending a hand but seriously...if I were to setup some plan like that, you would have to pay all that money back after you got a job. But yeah back to the movie.

I really didn't see what the big deal was, I mean this film being endorsed by Oprah and all. The main chick had a shitty life, no doubt about that, and she was trying to get better by going to school for her GED and to learn how to read...but seriously those babies? Really? Like it doesn't matter if she had a free ride to a real college or whatnot...she's fucked because of those babies, her lack of money, and her inability to get a real job because she is uneducated, untalented, and has no experience. So what will happen at the end of the movie? Get welfare and live off the system for life? Minus those babies a person can go to school and get some sort of job to get by. With even one baby all that changes because that shit is expensive.
Rating - C

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Food, Inc. (Documentary 2008)

Humm well this was a pretty educational film. In a nutshell it's all about how the food in America is controlled and manipulated by a small number of huge companies and how they are out to make money without caring much for the health and safety of the people who eat it or of their product.

One example of this is how some microorganisms got into our meat system because of the fact that the slaughterhouses did not do a good enough job in sanitizing the meat or separating out feces from the meat itself. Pretty goo but it happens all the time.

I don't know if most farmers were a smart as one guy in this film but yeah this one guy was pretty damn intelligent just by the way he was speaking. It's kinda sad to see how big-ass companies try to trample on the local farmers who try not to play the corporate business game.

The film was educational but yeah that's as far as it'll go. If x number of companies do have that much control of the industry then it is very hard to eat anything out of the norm. I mean look how much more expensive it is to buy organic stuff or to shop at a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's. It is significantly more and most peeps are just trying to get by with the cash they have. If they are hella environmentally conscious they will turn out poor; it's simple as that unless they have a bunch of expendable income. It is interesting how Mr. Stomach does not get along with HFCS and how it is not a naturally-occurring ingredient in nature, but rather is chemically extracted from corn.
Rating - B

Saturday, February 20, 2010

1941 Russian Izhevsk Mosin Nagant M38 Carbine

It's weird how when you have a hankering for a gun, you'll just go and buy it just to realize that some quirky things tended to be annoying with a similar gun you used to own before. So with my first Mosin, a lot of things annoyed me, mainly the sights and the weight. For one reason or another I convinced myself that having a carbine version which was shorter and weighed less would be all that I needed in order to be content. I was wrong.

So for starters the M38 is a much better buy then the 91/30, why? The weight. the 91/30 was one heavy mother and even though it was more accurate, it wasn't worth the tradeoff in my opinion. I liked the large fireball that came out of the M38 as well as the the crazy kick from the 7.62x54r round. Mine shot a little low which meant that I needed to put the rear sight at 2 or 3 notch in order to get the bull; usually other M38s will shoot high. So in the accuracy dept, it did its job at around 50 yards.

But when it came down to it, two things annoyed me. The first was the fact that the top handguard would scoot up towards the muzzle because of the recoil. It's wood, old, and is held in place with metal bands so there isn't much you can do about it without totally messing up the history and resellability of the rifle. The second was the fact that the bolt's "action" kinda sucked. Even after cleaning the hell out of it and even polishing some of the metal contact parts with some sandpaper and 00 wool, it just wasn't smooth enough. I always had to really slap the hell out of the bolt handle in order to make it move after firing off a round.

While out shooting another guy had a Mauser that I got to try out and my God...night and day difference with the bolt's "action" and the sights. That Mauser kicked all sorts of ass, go Germans. So yeah for a surplus firearm I felt that even though the Russians had made a reliable rifle that lasted through many decades, the design just had a "junky-feeling" to it. So just like that my admiration for the Mosin disappeared. It's still a good, reliable gun but I'd rather have something a tad bit more refined as my main go-to weapon.

Pros
Still fun to shoot
Huge fireball
Huge kick
Accuracy

Cons
Not as refined as other rifles
Action not smooth enough
Wood parts clunky

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thunder and Ashes (The Morningstar Strain) by Z. A. Recht (Book 2008)

This second book in the series was actually much better than the first. I'm not sure if it's because there was a bunch more action in this one or because the writing got better, but I thought it was well-developed and its ending led right into a 3rd book which I'm hoping will arrive sometime. If not that's fine too considering the author never officially finished it, but if someone else took the reigns of the project, it would be a good way of finishing off this series.

But yeah the book kept my glued to its pages for only a few days before I cleared the whole thing. It was exciting and humorous, just like how a person should be entertained.
Rating - High

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Zombieland (Horror Comedy 2009)

So this movie was as expected...funny and gory. Jesse Eisenberg is a newbie who looks exactly like Michael Cera and the other 3 people were extras in my book. But yeah there's not a lot to say...there wasn't a real plot and there were only a few above average zombie scenes. It did have a bunch of car-driving-past clips though... I'm sure it was pretty cheap to make this one; obviously there are better zombie flicks out there.
Rating - C

Up in the Air (Drama 2009)

I'm really not sure why this movie was recommended for a few awards this year. It was a better-than-average flick but I really wasn't over-impressed. The story followed around this guy who fires people for a living, and even though the purpose of the plot was to show how his life was meaningless, I think everyone missed the whole part about all the peeps who got fired.

I mean I could give a rat's ass about Clooney's character and if he found some epiphany in the end. The more important characters were those who were hella older like in their 40s or 50s, getting canned by some company. Corporations are not meant to care about such happenings but if anyone has gone through unemployment they'll know how much that world is.
Rating - B

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Plague of the Dead (The Morningstar Strain) by Z. A. Recht (Book 2006)

This zombie book was O.K....better than Dead City but not as good as Day by Day Armageddon. This was supposed to be a 3-book trilogy but I read that the author, Z. A. Recht, died so I don't know if the 3rd one will ever make it out.

This one was pretty good story-wise, in fact it was written in a style that makes it easy to be turned into a movie. There are enough action sequences and main characters to make the story go a long way. The ending leads straight into the 2nd book that I'm currently on so it reminded me of the end of the first LOTR. So yeah it's a nice read if you want to devour another zombie book but it's not as good as others I've read.
Rating - Mid

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Universal Soldier: Regeneration (Action 2009)

Oh goodness....what a horrible film. Yeah this was one of those that was playing in the background while I was surfing the web, and on multiple occasions I had to stop, Alt+Tab to the movie and rewind it because I could not believe the dialog was that shitty.

Yeah this movie was all about low-budget. Van Damme and Lundgren were certainly only icons of the 80s because they were very very washed up, wrinkly, and misplaced. They should be nowhere near a movie studio set much less be in a straight-to-pirated feature film.
Rating - F

Mass Effect 2 (3rd Person Action RPG PC Game 2010)

This game was the next installment in the Mass Effect trilogy that had come into existence. The thing with this one was that many RPG aspects of the game were removed and a very dumbed down system was put in its place. I don't know if this is because of EA's takeover or because the developers purposely did it. So although things were cleaned up a tad, it did not feel like an RPG at all.

The Good
  1. Gameplay felt a lot more like Gears of War (which I hated), but they did make enough improvements to the system so that it would actually be fun.
  2. Voice Acting. Everyone had a unique voice actor and they all sounded great.
  3. Mini-game of resource gathering for upgrades using planet scanners = much better than the Mako from ME1.
  4. Romancing feature was terrific and gave you a parallel goal.
  5. Dialog was hella funny at times, especially the scientist and Joker.
The Bad
  1. I like RPGs, so the fact that there was a dumbed down interface kinda took away from gameplay at least for me.
  2. Only being able to carry x number of ammo for each gun was kinda lame. They should have all pistols = x number of rounds and all shotguns = x. Some may like this since I guess that would be realistic but I found it annoying.
  3. I only found around 2 unique guns for each type, not including the heavy weapons. So again, I think this was Bioware's way of having the game not feel like an RPG, but some people need variety in their weaponry.
  4. The resource-gathering mini-game pretty much made it so that this game has no replay value. Without gathering resources to "upgrade" everything, you'll die in end-game. I don't think I'd be willing to hunt around every planet again.
  5. Other Bioware games had it where two of your team members would always make little comments about situations or they would bicker to each other; they didn't do much of this in this game so that was kinda disappointing.
FYI
  1. If you assign stats in the wrong areas/skills, no worries because you can pay for respecs later in the game.
  2. The Vanguard class is not as fun as the videos would lead you to believe. When you charge them it barely does any damage and you usually die afterwards. I would recommend the Infiltrator or the Sentinel.
  3. In the middle of the main campaign you are able to select 1 gun to "learn" so be aware of this when selecting your character. Yeah go Assault Rifle.
35 hours later, I finally cleared the game and gathered most resources from all planets. Was it fun? Oh yeah. Was it worth it? Yup. Will I be patently waiting for the 3rd installment? You bet. So yeah this was awesome, all what you'd expect from Bioware.
Rating - High

Sherlock Holmes (Action 2009)

For an action flick this movie was actually not too bad. Robert Downey Jr. is one of those actors who will always be a badass, just like Johnny Depp. I would totally put them in the same category.

The film is not what you would expect of a detective/mystery type of background because of the fact that Holmes is portrayed as both a fighter and as a nutty intelligent character. You rarely find that type of a mix.

Jude Law was a pretty good Watson, but Rachel McAdams' character was totally pointless. I guess some writer decided that yeah...might as well have a girl in it. The rest of the plot was decent and had its share of twists and turns.
Rating - B