Sunday, October 31, 2010

Let The Right One In

PREMISE: In two words, vampire movie. But believe me, this movie a different from any other vampire movie you've ever seen. First of all, the original is in Swedish, so if you want to watch this movie, get used to reading subtitles, find a dubbed version, or learn to speak Swedish. Oskar is a bullied 12 year-old boy who lives with his mother in an apartment. A man and his daughter move in across the hall. One night, Oskar is outside and meets the girl, Eli (pronounced "Ellie"). They become friends. As plots advance, we discover that Eli is a vampire, and has been 12 for a very long time. Without giving too much more away, Oskar and Eli fall in love, with both of them making sacrifices for one another by the end of the film.

Being a vampire movie, there are some bloody scenes, but not nearly enough to discourage the squeamish from watching it. The stuff that Eli's "father" goes through to protect her also borderline on the gory, but the sense of devotion this shows creates a unique mood. Another interesting aspect is the relationship between Oskar and Eli.  Eli's arrival is a blessing of sorts, as she quickly becomes close to Oskar, and his confidence gets a boost. I loved the ending; even under the strange circumstances, it has a very positive feel to it.

The vampire mythology is well-preserved here. When Eli attempts to feed on a woman one night, she is interrupted and runs away. The woman starts to show all of the dependencies of a vampire, and then bursts into flames in the sunlight. Eli also cannot enter a home without being invited; this part of the mythology is often forgotten, and the consequences of entering uninvited is shown in one scene. She can also climb tall heights quickly, and in my favorite scene, it's implied that she is extremely strong and can fly.

Overall, this movie is very well-crafted. There is quite a bit of suspense, and the small action parts build even more on that. This movie is so great and unique. I take back what I said about this being a "vampire movie." I believe it's more of a great movie about strength and love, that just so happens to be about a vampire.

Let The Right One In: 8.0/10

Obligatory Halloween Post

Happy Halloween fellow Bloggers! Hope your weekend is going well; mine is. Appalachian State defeated Furman yesterday, making their record 8-0. Fuck yea. Anybody else go to any great Halloween games yesterday? Quite a few dressed up drunks in your stadiums too, I bet. My costume this year is much less creative than most; I'm going as a lifeguard. Going to a get-together at a friend's apartment tonight. Just making some pizzas from scratch and watching some scary shit. Speaking of scary shit, new post will be up within the hour. I figured I would do a vampire movie, keeping with the spirit of the season (I promise no Twilight).

Thanks again, you beautiful people.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Super Meat Boy

PREMISE: Meat Boy is made of meat. His girlfriend is Bandage Girl, who is made of Bandages. Then there is Dr Fetus, who is a fetus in a jar wearing a tux. Dr Fetus hates everyone, but especially Meat Boy. So he beats up Meat Boy and kidnaps Bandage Girl. Now that you're up to speed, let's dive into this clusterfuck of awesome.

 This game plays like many other agility-based platformers. The levels are small, but there are tons of them. You spawn in one place, and must make it to wherever Bandage Girl is in the level. If you die, you are instantly respawned at the beginning of the level. This sounds very simple, but SMB is one of the hardest games I've ever had the pleasure (and displeasure) of trying to complete. Meat boy is very fast, and can wall jump. After an hour or two, I pretty much had mastered the controls, although Meat Boy's speed can sometimes screw you over while jumping. He's a bit hard to control in the air, but once you get control of that, it's just a matter of mastering each level. There are main worlds, and each one has 20 levels. Each level has a par time, and if you beat a level under par, you unlock that level's "Dark World", which is basically the same level, but with tons and tons of spinning saw blades of death. I must say that the sheer difficulty of the later Dark World levels made me rage for hours on end; there were a couple of levels that literally took about half an hour to master. Expect an unhealthy amount of respawning.

There are also tons of extras in this game. Each world has 20 hidden "bandages" you can find within the 40 levels. Finding a certain number of them unlocks new characters from various other indie games, like the ninja from N+ and Tim from Braid. Each secret character has special abilities, some of which are actually necessary to find all of the bandages. There are also warp zones hidden in each world, where you must play a few levels in a retro 8-bit or even 4-bit style, as a throwback to many awesome games of the past. Another cool feature is the extra world called "Teh Internets". Periodically, a new set of levels is released, and this world is where you go to play them. It increases the replay value quite a bit.

Just to get an idea of how hard this game is, watch this video. It's not me, but it shows pretty much exactly what I did for hours.

This is possibly the greatest XBLA game ever. Love it.

Super Meat Boy: 9.0/10


New post coming very soon. It's a video game for XBL Arcade, but it's the most fun I've had in a really long time. Should be up within the hour.

In other news, my girlfriend has insisted that I mention her in this blog. So, here it goes: I have a girlfriend. She's pretty awesome.

See you soon.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 Rock

PREMISE: Tina Fey's brainchild is based loosely on her experiences as head writer of SNL; she plays exasperated Liz Lemon, head writer of NBC's TGS With Tracy Jordan, or just TGS. The two stars of TGS, mentally unstable Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) and attention-craving Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), are almost always causing some mayhem around the studio, which Liz inevitably has to clean up. When the cast isn't causing problems, Liz's writing team usually finds some way to make her life difficult, constantly mocking her for whatever is going wrong in her life (usually her inability to find/keep a steady boyfriend). Keeping her and her crew in line is CEO Jack Donaghy (the hilarious Alec Baldwin), the extremely professional and very slick network executive. Fey and Baldwin have both received multiple Emmy nods for their roles in this show.

I can't believe it took me three years to discover this gem. I didn't even know it existed until it was already into its third season. I stumbled upon an episode during its regular airing time, and went to the Internet to discover more. Over the course of about a week, I had completely caught myself up. This show is very addicting, and hilarious. The situations borderline on the ridiculous, which is great for the show. The cast's antics are often over the top, such as Tracy trying to keep "up" his reputation by convincing people he is a lecherous, alcoholic party animal, and Jenna participating in a drug trial which causes her to stay awake indefinitely. Jack's character is often portrayed as eccentric and sickeningly rich; he has made such claims as owning his own island, having Jimmy Buffet on his speed dial, and even dating Condoleezza Rica. The show's large cast works well together, usually playing off of each other's misfortunes and creating hilarious stuations. Although this is a very comedy-heavy show, it has serious plot arcs and pays attention to detail. Relationships are a big part of the characters' stories. Liz's fears that she won't find someone before it's too late to settle down, and Jack sometimes worries that he will become too old to have children. Celebrities often make cameos; such stars as Gladys Knight, Jerry Seinfeld, James Franco, and even Al Gore have all made guest appearances as themselves. The growing, changing cast keeps the show fresh and fun.

30 Rock has more comedy than just about any workplace sitcom out there, without all the canned laughter. If you like your funny to be fast-paced and often ridiculously over-the-top, then you should definitely check it out.

Favorite quotations:
Jack: "Where do you invest your money, Lemon?"
Liz: "I’ve got like twelve grand in checking."
Jack: "Are you an immigrant?"

Tracy: "I’m just going through the classic stages of grief: fear, denial, horniness, wisdom, sleepiness and now depression."

Jack: "Lemon, I’m impressed. You're beginning to think like a businessman."
Liz: "A businesswoman."
Jack: "I don’t think that’s a word."

30 Rock: 8.5/10

Monday, October 25, 2010


PREMISE: US Marshal Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) stumbles into the quaint town of Eureka after a car accident. Turns out the simple-looking town is populated by the world's absolute smartest individuals and their genius families. Most of these people live in the town under a contract with an organization called Global Dynamics, which turns out to be the company responsible for almost all of the world's most significant scientific breakthroughs of the last few decades. An unfortunate incident leaves Eureka without a sheriff, so Carter steps in to fill the position, becoming the only resident of Eureka who is not a certified genius.

I was skeptical at first, but after the characters and basic plot were more established, it really turned into a great show. I love the characters. Everyone (Carter excluded) is pretty much the leading expert on whatever it is they specialize in. Even Carter's lone deputy Jo (the stunning Erica Cerra) is a former US Army Ranger who knows everything there is to know about guns. Also part of the usual problem-solving team is Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), GD's liaison to the Department of Defense, and Henry Deacon (Joe Morton), Eureka's resident engineering genius and fix-all. The relationships between all the characters do develop throughout the series, however, they play second fiddle to the scientific and technological wonder which most of the plots revolves around. Eureka is very much a comedy, but as it is a mainstay of the SyFy network, it obviously is heavy into the science fiction genre as well. Each episode is usually centered around some gadget or scientific breakthrough which inevitably causes major problems for the residents of Eureka. The issues can almost always be traced back to Global Dynamics and its questionable ethics.

All in all, if you like shows with a large ensemble cast who work well together, and science fiction, then you should check this out. Think Firefly, but not in space (and everyone is a genius).

Favorite quotation: A man holding a pair of hedge trimmers looks menacingly at Fargo and says, "Fargo, I'm gonna change your religion."


I'm Brady. I like movies, TV shows, and music, among other things. I like to talk about 'em too. And not just to talk about them, but to hear about them too. So leave me some comments on whatever you agree or disagree with. I love hearing new ideas and opinions. Come back often and you might discover some new stuff to check out.