Monthly Archives: June 2009

Ghostbusters: The Video Game PC review

I’ve not written a video game review for this blog before, so bear with me. I’m in the process of playing through Ghostbusters: The Video Game  on my computer. So far, I am having what some people on the Internet call a Geek-overload. When I purchased the game from Amazon.com for 27.99 I was not expecting much. What I’ve gotten for that asking price has been so worth it.

Aside from a horrendous install time, when the old school Columbia Pictures logo started playing I was sent back to being a wide-eyed seven year old watching the first film on VHS. Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II are two of my absolute favorite films. To be able to join the team and take down the Ghost Lady in the New York Public Library or the StayPuft Marshmallow Man is just too damn awesome for me.

It is a testament that everyone from Bill Murray to Annie Potts to Ernie Hudsoncame back (with the sad exceptions of Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver) to reprise their roles. The gameplay, while a tad repetitive, is still incredibly satisfying. Wrangling ghosts into traps really does help you feel like a damn Ghostbuster and that is really great. Terminal Reality clearly loves the franchise as much as I do. It’s a shame that in real life the actors have largely become doughy shadows of their former selves (lookinga t you Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis) and that Bill Murray had to have him arm twisted to reprise the beloved Peter Venkman.

I wish the graphics were a little more polished, some of the Ghostbuster’s animations are a bit stiff. The physics engine also has a weightless feel. However, the game has proven very engrossing and highly entertaining. It may not appeal to a wide audience but Ghostbusters fans owe it to themeselves to try this game out. I wish the PC version had multiplayer to extend the replay value but I definitely got by 27.99 worth out of the game so far.

I hold this work to be original thought. If I have used copyrighted material please email me. I will bring it down immediately. I merely mean for this blog to be a means to discuss and dissect my favorite things.

Up review

It is amazing to me how one studio can be such a well-oiled machine. Pixar, the world’s premiere digital animation studio, continues to create beautiful and compelling animated films that can be appreciated by people of all ages. Up, the studio’s latest release, continues this trend and yet again sets a new bar for visual storytelling after last year’s incredible endeavor, Wall-E. Up also has the distinction of being the first computer animated film that has moved me to tears.

I don’t want to provide any spoilers about the film as this movie must be seen in person, on the big screen. I will do my best to avoid major revelations about characters, plot points, and the situations presented. I will say that Up is perhaps the most adult film that Pixar has ever created. That is to say that the motivations and emotions of the film’s protagonist, 78-year old Carl Fredricksen, are going to be far more understood by adults than children.

Yet children will also immensely appreciate the movie as well. That is, children who have an attention span which sadly are few and far between it seems. The bright colors, the rich locations of a fictional South America of wonder, and a hilarious “talking” dog named Dug will capture the imaginations of a generation. Pixar needs to be commended for not dumbing down their films and presenting children honest stories which seeks to enforce their intelligence, not insult it.

That is to say, Pixar films rarely rely on quick gags, slapstick, or popular culture throwaway lines to keep children engaged like other studios animated films. When Pixar does utilize those comedic elements, they are done in subtle ways that don’t distract from the action or in ways that fit the characters introduced. You don’t hear Carl talking about Kanye West or something ridiculous because his character has no idea who the man is.

Up is just another Pixar story where the world created is believeable, the characters are engaging, and the animation, lighting, and texture quality are nearly flawless. I cannot really say much more for fear of spoiling your own reaction to this beautiful tale of a man trying to fulfill a long lost dream. The movie, like life, takes a lot of unexpected turns and sometimes loses its way. However, this was intentional. The film is masterful at illustrating how our life’s goals are not reached on a straight path. My parting words are these: if you are not choked up in the first twenty minutes of the film, you are a broken person and I feel for you. Up is truly a masterpiece and I anticipate its Blu-Ray release so I can be awed all over again.

I hold this work to be original thought. If I have used copyrighted material please email me. I will bring it down immediately. I merely mean for this blog to be a means to discuss and dissect my favorite things.