[EXPRESSO] Lightyear (2022) | Space Mediocrity

Ok, let’s leave aside the whole “identity crisis debacle”, despite Pixar being outright silly in starting the movie with the premise that THIS is the movie that in 1995 spawned the Buzz Lightyear toy Andy from Toy Story got. Also ignoring the 90’s animated TV series that served as a backstory to the character, because it’s clear this is a different interpretation-canon.

WHATEVER, who cares, let’s move on from this non-sense.

Though i can understand it’s quite tempting to do so since the ludicrous meta footnote is ripe for lampooning, and the actual movie leaves very little to say for itself.

But first, the plot.

I has been described by many as a sort of rip-off of Interstellar for children, and i agree, as we see Buzz and company investigate a newly scanned planet that the ship flew by during their voyage.

This alien world immediatly reveals to be rife with hostile fauna and flora, and in attempt to escape, the ship gets damaged, forcing Buzz and all the other people on board to camp and live there, while they find a way to create the specific fuel need for lightspeed space travel in order to contact base and leave the planet. They do manage to create the special fuel, but things turn for the weird as Buzz keeps failing the lightspeed flight test and returns to learn that his minutes long voyages translate to years of time passing in his absence….

I’ll say that this ain’t bad. I didn’t expect much from the trailer, but sadly despite the plot having some potential to be better, it all comes off as a generic “origin story” through and through, from the action to the characters, everything it’s pretty mild, predictable and – again – generic.

Enjoyable, but sadly quite middling overall.

[EXPRESSO] The Batman (2022) | Nigma Notions

After fighting the dreaded villain known as COVID19-Man, Batman is back to the silver screen, now being played by Robert Pattinson in what it’s essentially another “reboot” of sorts, since the plot of The Batman goes back to basics, depicting the reasons why millionarie Bruce Wayne uses his wealth to moonlight as the masked vigilante of the “Batman”, his encounter with Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), and has him face the villain known as The Riddler.

The main difference is that this time Bruce Wayne’s past (including e his legacy as a Wayne) plays a bigger role, as we were lead to think by the trailers and promo materials, but thankfully this re-establishes the character without being an origin story, and depicts Batman as a more tragic and frail force of justice, as now his family’s legacy comes into play into the corrupt nature of Gotham itself.

The good: Gotham’s depiction is amazing, the brooding and even more dark tone is perfect, the mood overall it’s great and matches the more grounded approach (which of course reminds one of Nolan’s work on the caped crusader), the cast is stellar and giving out great performances, with Pattinson making for a really convincing and more obsessive Batman.

Shame that the narrative ultimately suffers not being as strong as it could, thanks in part to the kinda messy script that falls victim to overstuffing, with ¾ climaxes and the movie being pretty much 3 hours long. It’s not boring, actually it’s fairly captivating, but it feels like they crammed almost 2 scripts into 1 because superhero movies are expected to be very long these days.

I still recommend it, despite the aforementioned flawas, because it’s refreshing to a superhero movie done with vision in mind more than a spreedsheet of pre-made and rounded-edged lego blocks.

[EXPRESSO] Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) | Hostile Makeover

There’s a lot that could be said about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, but you won’t hear it from me now since i really didn’t bother with anything aside the original and the delightful spoof sequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. I knew this was gonna be another “Godzilla style” sequel to the original that ignores everything else, so i rewatched that for a refresher before this one released as a Netflix exclusive a couple of days ago, but that’s about it.

Set decades after the events of the original movie, the story focuses on the aged serial killer Leatherface, targeting a group of young entrepreneurs that arrive in the ghost town of Harlow to basically sell it to rich people, and him coming in contact with a veneful survivor of his killings.

Yes, it’s Angela from Sleepaway Camp. Seriously, it’s not like it could be anyone else, and the movie right away it makes no secret that Sally is still alive, but basically handles it’s legacy character in a disappointing fashion, feels like they wanted to avoid a complete mimicry of what Halloween 2018 did… even thought otherwise it’s exactly what they did anyway.

As in, the attempt is pretty clear in intention, the result is more akin to to Halloween Kills, sans the messy baggage (and overburdened script), among other things.

It’s not “good”, but it’s quite entertaining in the same way as that movie was, as in delivers gore, lots of kills and good production values, the modern stuff makes sense, but in terms of story and characters it’s a mostly forgettable wash.

For a direct-to-video sequel it’s “fine”, and since it’s also really short, i say give it a watch if you like the series or slashers in general, just don’t expect much beside some entertaining kills.

[EXPRESSO] Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City (2021) | Herbal Bundle

Finally time to review this one, the first reboot movie for the Resident Evil film series, distancing itself from the previous films by Paul W. Anderson in order to make a more faithful adaptation.

Helmed by 47 Meters Down director Johannes Roberts, Resident Evil Welcome To Raccoon City basically provides an abridged retelling combining the plot of Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 into a single one. Not completely random as both games’ plot take place in Raccon City, where in 1998 the farmaceutical megacorporation Umbrella Corporation had basically withdraw from operating, leaving the city to wither.

After an epidemic turns people and animals into undead monsters, a squad of local police officers is sent to investigate the Spencer Mansion in the nearby mountain area, while other survivors rally to survive the horrors left by Umbrella.

There are various changes and differences, often kinda necessary due to the merging of the two plots, which leads to the movie feeling rushed, as i feared. Aside from some hamfisted (but still cute) references, the movie actually captures pretty well the horror B-movie spirit of the games, and actually wants to be a horror film.

And it succeds, the atmosphere is nice and creepy, there’s a lot of practical effects, the characters are mostly quite accurate, and most of the elements from the games are used with sense in-context.

It’s not perfect, the cast is decent but there is some questionable acting and the “plot mix” it’s a source of other issues, but overall it’s actually quite solid and enjoyable.

Shame because this is arguably the better, more faithful RE live action adaptation… but it’s shaping up to be a box office bomb, not surprising since it was released in late November, and the “Thanksgiving holiday weekend” window makes sense only for Americans.

[EXPRESSO] Cruis’n Blast NSWITCH | LETS GO CRUISINNNN

I knew the Cruis’n series was a fan favourite since the N64 days, but i never played one until the recent Cruis’n Blast, developed by Raw Thrills… and boy i played the shit of the arcade cabinet in these years. One of my favourite arcade racer ever, and i don’t even particularly care about racers.

Guess i wasn’t alone since an updated expanded version arrived on Switch (boxed to boot) for Halloween 2021, costing 40 bucks as MSRP.

In terms of content, it has the 5 tracks found in the arcade version, plus 24 brand new ones, now all laden with extra collectables necessary to buy and unlock new cars, also coming in more variety, regarding both regular vehicles and the triceratops n stuff.

Obviously stuff like the helicopter isn’t given away immediatly but will require getting gold trophies, collecting a lot of keys and money, levelling up cars and stuff, but there a good amount of content for the single player experience and gameplay it’s still such pure mindless arcade racer fun.

The controls and mechanics have been slightly altered and improved from the arcade version, but it won’t take much to discover how to “wheelie” over other cars, spin in the air and drift to collect a boost (Mario Kart style). Just remember that the original cabinet didn’t have a brake pedal, it’s that kind of uber arcade experience, with lots of spectacle and shit happening on the tracks, like the London Eye breaking loose, Yetis, etc.

More importantly, it’s indeed the absolute “Blast” the subtitle claims it to be, the IA isn’t bad even at Normal difficulty, and obviously it’s even better with 4 players.

I can’t recommend it at full price to due some performances hiccups and no online multiplayer, but i do recommend it, absolutely.

[EXPRESSO] Halloween Kills (2021) | TONIGHT!!!

Hindsight it’s a terrific thing, otherwise one wouldn’t be able to say that we’re at a point where 3 different “Halloween 2” exist, this one actually being a follow up to 2018’s Halloween, a direct sequel to the original film that did so well to eventually become the first part of a trilogy by David Gordon Green, with this Halloween Kills being the middle part and Halloween Ends the conclusion.

The 2018’s movie was honestly pretty good and i would have stood as good conclusion to this continuity, but the original Halloween II already proved there’s no final rest in the industry, so i’m not instantly miffed they are making “Part II” again, this series had far worse ideas than that, as most horror fans already know the franchise’s incredibly messy history.

So the plot sees Michael Myers survive the huge fire at the end of the 2018’s movie, and then go back to Haddonfield, Illinois, where everything started, and killing whoever he stumbles upon.

This enrages the locals, haunted for 40 years by Michael’s legacy of terror and finally decide to take the matter into their own hands and end their nightmare once and for all.

I’ll start with the positives: there’s a lot of kills, great gore effects, and it’s pretty entertaining.

…. if you care about anything else, you won’t find it in Halloween Kills, as the plot could make some sense on paper but it’s senseless ridiculous gibberish that pisses all over the good stuff the 2018 movie did, and welcomes all the bullshit it avoided. With the subtlety and meaning of a hammer to the scrotum, nothing at stake, dumb ass characters that should absolutely know better.

One step forward and six backwards, so Halloween Ends will have to work hard to be worse.

Oneechanbara Origin PS4 [REVIEW] | Blood Feuds, Zombies and Bikini Swords

So this finally went on sale on the PSN, i wanted to get to this sooner as it came out last year, but i refused to shell out 60 bucks for the whole enchillada since now D3 Publisher just releases these games digital only, and still tries to charge them the same.

Kinda, EDF 5 later got a physical release by Pqube, but i guess just because they already published a lot of EDF titles, and NIS – most likely – wasn’t interested in carrying this one westward like it did with Oneechanbara ZII Chaos.

But let’s get back on track, it’s the perfect time of the year after all.

This is the latest game in the series, but – as the title hints to – it’s not a prequel, but a remake-retelling of the first two Oneechanbara games, done to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the series as a whole, i guess it was easier to do this instead of making a new one with new ridiculous looking scanty clad characters and ridiculous story.

Continua a leggere “Oneechanbara Origin PS4 [REVIEW] | Blood Feuds, Zombies and Bikini Swords”

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City trailer dropped, words and reaction ensue, etc.

Yesterday we finally got to see the first trailer for the Resident Evil film reboot, known as Resident Evil Welcome To Raccon City for a while, and people aren’t exactly going gaga for it.

Color me not surprised, since fanbases are notoriously both easy and fickle to please, and years of Paul W.S. Anderson brand of action have clearly rotted some people’s brain overtime, i haven’t seen them all, but i did witness the vomit inducing unwatchable mess of Resident Evil The Final Chapter in theathers, and that already should set the stage for things to go inevitably up. Or at least avoid triggering motion sickness in moviegoers.

Continua a leggere “Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City trailer dropped, words and reaction ensue, etc.”

Syndicate PS3 [REVIEW] | Cyberbooting EA Nonsense

While CD Projeckt Red (look out to not be sued by Robert Fripp) it’s still trying to patch up the comatose corpse release of Cyberpunk 2077, let’s go back in time when cyberpunk was…. actually not that far since i actually played this last year while quarantined and cleanin some of my backlog, and the game actually came out in 2012, almost ten years ago.

It just feels odd to discuss a game like this now, with the scenario of a society that basically taps directly into the “Wired” (not actually called that, but you get it), so you can connect to the internets with a chip installed in your brain, with more than half of the world populace having it, and using it to – among other things like downloading porn and Doom 2 WADS, i guess – align with one of the megacorporations that have become more important than nations themselves. The megacorps of course compete for dominance by also upping their terror and spy tactics by using prized killers, like the protagonist, Kilo (yes, with a “i”), as corporate espionage is basically a full on war.

Continua a leggere “Syndicate PS3 [REVIEW] | Cyberbooting EA Nonsense”

So, a “few” words about that Samurai Warriors 5.

While i won’t have a review for the game out anytime soon (as explained in a previous post earlier this month), i want to say a few things about Samurai Warriors 5, after getting the Treasure Box edition (because i’m a sucker for artbook and CDs) and clocking in 32hours (which include finishing the story mode, of course) into it, as a last piece before i give the blog (and myself, to some extent) some rest.

I have like 5 pages of text and notes written about it, but i’ll try to be “brief” here.

It’s better than Dynasty Warriors 9?

Yes, it would have been quite hard to do even worse than that.

But it’s amazing how Omega Force still kinda held unto some of the crappier design choices from that shit title, leading to some old problems of the Warriors series coming back in new, unexpected and baffling ways.

Continua a leggere “So, a “few” words about that Samurai Warriors 5.”