Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

The Dynamic Duo, Michael Bay and Megan Fox are back at it again but this time they told Shia LaBouef to stay home so he doesn’t ruin the movie by saying “NO NO NO NO!” and screaming like a girl for comedic value constantly. Replace one 90s cartoon with another, some robots with some Turtles and a rat, keep one transformer in for good measure but add a little Robocop for spice and what do we have? The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Michael Bay has decided to ride this rebooting 90s nostalgia train again and bring back a beloved part of an entire generation’s childhood with the same elements of what made the original trilogy shine, but with a new spin. (Mild Spoilers)

The movie mainly follows, and kind of pisses off most fans, April O’Neil, played by Megan Fox (horribly I add), a low level reporter looking for her big story. She’s currently obsessed with this street gang of urban terrorist called The Foot Clan, anonymously lead by The Shredder, and wants to expose the truth behind them. One night she decides to put herself in danger and peep in on a Foot Clan operation and is a witness to a “vigilante” silently taking down multiple members and eventually foregoing that and somehow moves an entire steal shipyard box, rendering many of them unconscious. And somehow not only does April see the vigilante’s shadow but is able to capture a fancy blurry picture with her camera phone (we determined it was a windows phone because it took too long). So now she has proof right? She’s got the story and will be the top report!…No because sassy head editor Whoopi Goldberg thinks she’s nuts. So instead of giving up after her near death experience she decides to put herself in harm’s way again and try to sneak in on another Foot Clan takeover, this time in a subway station. Well while hiding behind a beam because she believes that she’s that skinny, April gets captured. And because at that point she’s no quitter she tries to take a picture of Karai, top member of the Foot Clan and possible daughter of Shredder. Well April must have forgotten to put her phone on vibrate because Karai hears her and puts a gun to April’s head (smart move). Almost instantly here comes the Turtles as soon as the lights shut down. In a wave of shaky camera and quick cuts the Turtles take down all of the Foot Clan and escapes up a maintenance tunnel, to which April follows and takes a quick snap of the Turtles celebrating on the roof. Forgetting to turn off her flash as well, functioning phones is not her forte, they realize she’s there and grab her. This is where we first meet the Turtles and their vastly different personalities: the overly aggressive and obviously over compensating Raphael, the extremely nerdy and basically half robot Donatello, the always hilarious but this time very much in a stoner type of way because I guess kids get that type of humor now Michelangelo, and the definition of a Libra and always trying to keep order and peace amongst his brothers which vastly differs from his voice actor, Johnny Knoxville, Leonardo. They delete the pictures and threaten her life as they used to do in the cartoon, wait what? Yes it’s true these Turtles are more aggressive, more violent, and more destructive of their environment than the cute one’s we knew.

This bothers Splinter due to a plot twist that I will not get into as it will spoil the whole basis of the movie. So they Turtles kidnap, yes KIDNAP, April and bring her to their lair, also known as the sewers which she figures out fairly quickly due to the smell. Splinter explains the Shredder is a bad dude and she also shouldn’t trust her father’s friend Eric Sacks as he is not what he seems. The Foot eventually figure out where the Turtles live and attack everyone which brings about one of the best fight scenes of the movies as you are able to see each turtle’s personality come with their fighting style and even Splinter actually fight. This moment gave the audience the same feeling as when we all saw Yoda walk in to fight Count Dooku at the end of Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (If you have yet to see that movie or scene I suggest you crawl back under the rock where you lived because you can’t handle the world at this point). Raphael is buried under rocks after an explosion and Michelangelo, Donatello, and Leonardo are captured after watching the Shredder massacre Splinter (this is not a spoiler as a specific trailer already gives this away). Good ole Raph gets out gets out of his coma and finds Splinter, along with April oddly since the Foot and Shredder basically level their home. Raph and April go to Shredder’s hideout break the other Turtles out and defeat the Shredder in which there is a cool snowy mountain scene, same one in the trailer, which may I add this snowy hillside is supposed to be located roughly 40 minutes outside of New York City, which has literally no snow whatsoever. I am going to say this is just a fantasy land where New York City is not located in actual New York. But I digress, the Turtles beat Shedder in a cute yet lame way and save New York from an evil plan you think would come from the Cobra Commander and not Ultra-Mecha-Robo-Shedder-Atron (You’ll get that once you see him).

Overall the movie gets an 8 out 10 in my book. Great action, paid various homages to the original movie and original idea, Michael Bay even poked fun at himself a few times for the “alien” idea, and last but most importantly, Michelangelo was hilarious. As long as you ignore the shaky camera, few plot holes, and Megan Fox as a whole, you will thoroughly enjoy the movie.

So the question remains: Why do people hate the idea of this movie without seeing it claiming he will “destroy their childhood”? Because everyone seems to hate Michael Bay after Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Yes the movie was poorly written and ,for whatever reason that Michael Bay thought this would be a good idea, had the racist twins in the movie but still every director has their flops, so why think after Transformers 2 every Michael Bay movie will be terrible? I didn’t hear many complaints after the 1st Transformers, I didn’t read anything negative after either of the Bad Boys movies or the Island. Let’s be honest.; anyone who says this movie is stupid or terrible is one of two people: 1) Someone who heard/read about the aliens idea then completely closed themselves’ off to anything to do with this movie sticking to that thought as if it will never change or 2) Someone who expects this to be the same as the original trilogy. If you are number 2, get your mind out the past because as amazing as those movies are, this is a reboot, a reboot takes the story and changes it. So it will not look the same, be the same people, nor will have the same plot. Honestly who wants the same thing over again, who wants a new paint job on the 1985 Car? It’s still the same so what’s the point?

Give Ninja Turtles a chance these Turtles are more brutal and true to the comics than the original movies. I have faith in this new film series.

 -Mo Haskins

Watch_Dogs Review: Digital Trips and Disposable Characters

While I would have preferred to utilize my typical format of “Initial Response”, “Progress Review”, and “Final Conclusions”, recent grad classes had gotten in the way of my usual flow.

Pffft! School!? Bah!

So here I am, a bit late to the game with my all encompassing review of the Digital Anarchy that is Watch_Dogs. #EverythingIsConnected

WARNING: This post is going to be long! Continue reading Watch_Dogs Review: Digital Trips and Disposable Characters

Time to say goodbye…for now

Unfortunately, I’m going to have to concede that I simply do not have the time to post regularly for the time being. I’ve been struggling to maintain a normal life complete with my full-time job, my new wife, keeping the house in order, and all the other auxiliary aspects that make life what it is, and that is beautiful. On top of all this, I have also been taking classes towards an MBA Certificate at a local college. While i have been able to maintain posting, and prerequisite gaming to post about, during this time, I am no longer able to do so since I have opted to take on the final two courses concurrently, as they are only offered during the summer trimester. Should I have only taken one of the courses, I would have been forced to wait an entire year until the remaining course is offered again. While Gaming and Game writing is AWESOME, my personal career has waited far too long to begin with.

So I must leave you all, at least for about 2 months until the courses have completed. With this departure, I leave you with the above video which I admit may be a bit out of character, especially for those of you who know me personally 🙂 And yet, you should find it quite fitting at the same time. I have recently become a proponent of promoting Video Games as Art. You can see it all design aspects, from environment design, dialogue writing, and theme music composing. Last November I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a “Video Games Live” concert, which I HIGHLY suggest everyone in my readership attend as well! By hearing the music performed in such a way along side the visuals of each respective game was absolutely stunning and solidified my stance of the maturation of gaming as a medium of entertainment and art. Maybe this time away will allow me to refocus my blogging efforts from Gaming News to Gaming Commentary with a focus on Social Impact and the Arts. We shall see!

So yes, friends, it is time for me to say goodbye. But just for now, and I promise to be back as soon as I can!

Until then, #RespectTheGame !

C3 WiR(e) has a new home!

C3 WiR(e) has a new home!

As I stated on my twitter, I have officially moved my C3 WiR(e) weekly gaming news update to SportsRants.com. There, it will recieve all the love from an established sporting community and a bit of air time on the Anthony DiMoro show!

If anyone else reading this is interested in blogging on Sports Rants as well, we could use some more activity in the Gaming section, and of course any form of sports you could follow!

The “Amazing” Spiderman 2 Review and Easter Eggs ***Spoilers Included***

Thinking about seeing The Amazing Spiderman 2 this weekend? I saw it last week. I give you the low down to see if it’s worth your time.  You will receive a Spoiler Alert.

As a mild Marvel fan, I was still quite excited to see The Amazing Spiderman 2.

The sequel to the 2012 summer blockbuster continues the story right after the first. Spiderman has gained quite an amount of fame after saving the city from the antics of Dr. Kurt Conner, also known as The Lizard, while also juggling his life as normal day Peter Parker, who is in a committed relationship with the way-out-of –his-league Gwen Stacey. Peter is haunted by the advice given to him from Gwen’s deceased father, Police Captain Stacey, who, while dying amidst the battle with The Lizard, gave his final words to Peter stating to keep Gwen out of his vigilante superhero activities (yes, Peter revealed his identity to him, but who cares? He was about to die).

Introduced in this story line are pinnacle characters Harry Osborne (also known as the Green Goblin (that’s not a spoiler if you watched the trailer, which I will get to later), Aleksei Sytsevich (also known as the Rhino), and finally our “main villain” Max Dillon (also known as Electro). Interesting characters to introduce as they are a part of an elite supervillain group; for those comic book fans you know what group I am referring to.

Also further explained in the movie, after being introduced in the final scene of the first movie, is an interesting story arc of Peter’s father’s involvement with Oscorp and the ultimate reason why Peter was left with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben.

With these villains on the loose, Peter must somehow stop them while also maintaining a relationship with Gwen Stacy who, like most comic book girlfriends, is worried about his life both more concerned with their relationship, forever stigmatizing women as selfish human beings (obviously not true in reality but hey this is fantasy isn’t it?).

So how does Spiderman do it? Well I will tell you the “fun” details.

 

*****SPOILERS AHEAD*****

 

Alright let’s start off with one thing that bothered me. The musical choice for this movie was for the most part terrible. Moments of upbeat, happy music was chosen while Peter tries to solve the mystery of his father through a series of papers found in his briefcase and using red string like some kind of amateur detective. I usually don’t pick on music scores, and usually don’t care or notice, but this was very apparent and at moments very distracting.

The movie of course starts off with a flashback of Peter’s dad performing some experiments frantically, intriguing yet confusing the viewer. Then he eventually is on a plane along with his wife, after leaving Peter with his Aunt obviously, where they are fleeing the country for reasons yet to be known. He frantically downloads some kind of computer information, titled Roosevelt, to some other location when suddenly an assassin from Oscorp walks out of the cockpit after killing the pilot. How does father Parker know he’s an assassin, BECAUSE HE WAS WASHING HIS HAND THOUGH THERE WAS NO BLOOD ON THEM. So now we know Peter’s father was also Watson in a former life. They fight, the assassin shoots one window causing the rest to explode open like some odd chain reaction. But good news! The files upload to god knows where, so his parents insinuated plane crash death wasn’t for nothing…right?

Anyways we cut back to Peter kicking Sytsevich’s butt in an unnecessarily exaggerated way while Sytsevich rambles on in the most inaudible and terrible Russian accent I have ever heard. He also saves Max Dillon from getting smashed by a truck and calling him his “eyes and ears”.

So that’s one, he’s captured and we cut to Harry Osborne standing next to his father Norman who is on his deathbed. They ramble some underhanded insults back and forth, because apparently all wealthy families are just bitter with each other, when Norman drops the bomb to Harry that what he’s dying from is heredity and Harry will die soon!

So now Harry is desperate to find a cure to his unknown ailment and eventually figures out that the radioactive spiders that Oscorp was creating had the ability to heal themselves. Cool? Then putting imaginary two and two together he figures out that Spiderman is a product of one of those spiders….ok? So he calls his buddy Peter (their friends apparently though this was never explained or hinted to) and tells Peter to set up a meeting with him and Spiderman for Spiderman’s blood because Peter took a picture of him one so the assumption they are best friends makes sense….right? Peter says no and even shows up to Harry as Spiderman to say no again. Harry goes into a completely irrational rage and now hates Spiderman, but then accidently runs across the Green Goblin suite that has an ability to heal the occupant, but he’s still pissed off.

Now while this is all is happening, Mr. Max Dillon, a nerdy nobody who is taken advantage of left and right, even by Alistair Smyth (wait what?) and through an accident reconnecting two large electrical wires, which I should mention the security guard refused to turn off which is a huge policy violation, falls into a vat of electric eels and is transformed into an electricity run human being eventually calling himself Electro randomly. So why does he have a hatred for Spiderman? Well if you watched the trailers you already know that good ole Spidey, in his old age, forgot Max’s name after he transformed. Which made Max sad because he was a big Spiderman fan; Max even had his own Edward Nigma-esque closet full of Spiderman clippings.

So Max hates Spiderman because he forgot his name and Harry hates him because he won’t give him his blood. These reasons would be good if they were developed over time or maybe through multiple occurrences where Spiderman had a run in with these two, but they weren’t. They developed such a strong hated for Spiderman in a matter of seconds. DUMB!

By this time Harry gets fired from running Oscorp because businessmen are businessmen basically, so in order to get back at Spiderman he has to break into Oscorp first. So Harry waltzes in while his bodyguard Electro transports all over the building killing bodyguards and security (oh did I mention he knows how to transport? Yea he does randomly though that a pretty significant game changing ability that suddenly made Electro a threat).

At this point the CEO of Oscorp bows down and they head on down to where all of Oscorps hidden toys are, including the Green Goblin flight suit. The CEO escapes because Harry’s disease acts up and he begins to transform into some being (for those comic fans, this is the version of the Goblin when he is actually a goblin) and in a desperate act of survival he jumps into the flight suite and heals himself and now is the Green Goblin.

So what’s going on with Spiderman during this? Some major plot twist!

Peter find out his father had a secret lab in an abandoned subway tunnel….wait for it… USED BY ROOSEVELT. GENIUS! AND HIS DAD RECORDED A VIDEO! Just in case someone found his briefcase went through it, found the subway tokens, googled Roosevelt for hours and found out that Roosevelt had a secret subway tunnel, then went down there, found the secret coin slot and active the secret subway car lab you created and went straight to the computer instead of looking at all the cool stuff around….I mean it only makes sense. What does the video say? Basically this:

“Sup Peter. Pretty sure you are the only person who will ever find this. I had to take a little vacation because Oscorp is full of jerks and will blame me for some stuff. But I got back at them. You know those radioactive spiders I can only assume eventually worked after so many failed experiments? Yea my DNA is in them, sooooo if someone wants replicate the experiment, they’ll be coming after you! HAHAHA sorry to basically put a hit out on you Bro”

Father of the Year right there.

To makes matters worse, Gwen went all crazy and broke up with Peter. Why? Because she’s going to college in England.  Then in some odd twist of reality, Peter writes I Love You in webbing on the George Washington Bridge which made Gwen instantly stop caring about breaking up with Peter and agrees to let him follow her to England. Kind of a weird idea “Hey Peter and Gwen AND Spiderman are suddenly gone…I wonder”

At this point we think, this may be the end of the series when suddenly a large explosion happens at a conveniently nearby power grid which ignites the battle of Spiderman vs The Vastly Superior Yet Stupid Electro. I won’t ruin the battle because you see this coming a mile away from the beginning of the movie along with the fact that suddenly Gwen has some guts to impose on Peter’s crime fighting.

With Electro gone, here comes Green Goblin who look at Spiderman…then Gwen…then Spiderman….then Gwen…and figures out Spiderman is Peter right there…..because that makes sense.

Anyways they fight in a battle that basically can be viewed in the trailer and the Goblin picks up Gwen and drops her. Good ole Spidey uses this pinpoint accuracy with his webbing and eventually grabs stops her from hitting the ground…..and breathing…yes comic fans they stayed true to the story, Gwen is dead.

Peter takes it pretty rough and stops being Spiderman for some time (at least a year), but obviously comes back otherwise this would be a waste of time.

At this point in the movie it’s getting to the end and I’m asking myself whatever happened to Rhino?

Well don’t worry folks because it seems like the director completely forgot about him too so he decided to throw him right at the end of the movie. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the trailer scene where Spiderman is fighting Rhino, is literally the last scene of the movie.

 

So there’s the breakdown of the movie but this is a “Marval” movie so you know they have to make a million and one hints to other characters that they may or may not pursue.

So here are some Easter Eggs that you can catch in the movie (In no particular order):

Morbius

Mister Fear

Alastair Smythe

Black Cat

Kraven the Hunter

Doctor Octopus

The Vulture

The Sinister Six (DUH)

X-Men crossover

 

Overall the movie was fun and interesting but with so many flaws and poor writing, it does not live up to its predecessor. This movie would be worth seeing in a discounted movie theater. Don’t pay for 3D because there is nothing done for 3D in this movie.

 

 

Thief is a DARK game!

From http://dominus.ttlg.com/

Thief is a dark game. And by that I mean DARK! Like, perpetual night, everything is damp, the colors are cold, and even the fires and torches seem to give only partial respite from dreary, tired…blah! I’ve played games that have been dark before, but nothing like this. Typically in games that I play, it will be that one “dark” or “gothic” level or dungeon. For the most part, the designers try to make the most visually appealing landscape possible, with lush colors and vibrant themes that bring the player’s senses alive. They maintain this method pretty well, and then create a that one “dark” stronghold or sequence to give the game’s environment some contrast. Thief is the absolute opposite. Here, EVERYTHING is dark. EVERYTHING is damp. With the fires around the city, I feel that if I were to stand beside one, I would be able to warm my hands but I wouldn’t get enough warmth to dry my coat, and my boots and back would remain cold and soggy. Continue reading Thief is a DARK game!

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