Tuesday, May 31, 2011

KGS Midnight Show #2: X-Men First Class

KGS will be continuing its midnight showing streak alive with X-Men: First Class. We're pumped for this prequel and hope you can join us at Frank Theater (Queensgate 13) in York, PA at 12:00 midnight on Thursday, May 2 (technically May 3). We hope to see you there!

Superman Movies - Summary Reflection

This entire month KGS has reflected upon the Superman movies and their different iterations. The bottom line? Despite Hollywood's best efforts to ruin Superman, the Big Blue Boyscout still saves most of these movies. All of them are far from perfect, however. Which causes us to ask the question, "Why is a Superman Movie so hard to write?" Could it be that Hollywood simply doesn't know what to do with an absolutely pure and good man? Hollywood literally took decades to put together Superman Returns and they STILL got it wrong. They seem to meddle with him at times to add different powers or to make him more "relate-able." At other times it seems like Hollywood wants to distract the audience from the main character with long subplots. The Superman movies are at their best when they allow Superman to be exactly what he is - an example for the rest of us to follow.

In the final analysis, here's how the Superman movies stack up according to this movie reviewer, ranked from best to worst:

1. Superman: The Movie (either the original or extended edition)
2. Superman II: The Richard Donnor Cut
3. Superman II
4. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
5. Superman III
6. Superman Returns

Pray to God that the studio finally puts all of the pieces together in the upcoming Superman reboot.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Online Flash Games, Week 2: Demolition City

Dynamite. Explosions. Buildings falling down into a pile of concret. What more can a man ask from a game? Don't answer that. This week I'm reviewing Demolition City by Armor Games. There is only one objective in this game: make buildings fall down. Apparently buildings that never were finished, since you only blow up hollow skeletonns of buildings. Perhaps there was some kind of terrible design flaw. But don't dive too far into why, just blow crap up!

There are twenty levels in all. Each one is about the same. You have a set limit of dynamite to put on different parts of the building. You have to make sure it falls below a certain height limit. You may only place dynamite on concrete, not steel. And you may only place one package of dynamite on a piece of concrete. There are also some levels in which there is a second building which you cannot let a piece of debris touch. If you fail to bring the building down, you must restart and no dollars are awarded for the level.

Points are awarded in three ways. Through am explosive bonus, height bonus, and dynamite. I have played this game many times and still for the life of me I have no idea how points are awarded for the explosive category. You get height points by how far under the target height you are. This is judged by the piece of debris closest to the minimum height line. You get $1,000 for each package of dynamite you do not use in a level.

This game is not a simple as you may think though. The trick to this game is physics. Randomly placing dynamite is not going to work everytime. So you have to think as to where you will place you dynamite to get maximum effect.

I find the game easy to play and challenging. I have no real fault with the game, but I do have two small grievences with the game. First, it has the most God awfull sound effects to explosions I have ever heard. And the music is annoying. The second is that if you fail a level, it give you three options. One is the walkthrough. It takes you to two videos showing you how to do levels 1-10 and 11-20. It's as if the game is saying "Its ok that you suck at this game. Here little baby, this is how you do it. Course you could never figure this out." It only aggrivates the player when you give them the easy way out if they are angirly trying to figure it out for themselves.

All in all, I found the game very fun to play and challenging at times. I recomned it to anyone who wants to blow up buildings while listening to crappy music.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Move Review - Steel

Here's the movie review: Steel, released in 1997 and starring Shaquille O'Neal, is a BAD MOVIE. Want to know how bad? I've never even watched it and I know it's a bad movie. Netflix doesn't even LIST this movie. That's right - as far as Netflix is concerned this movie doesn't even EXIST. Look under Shaquille O'Neal's filmography. It's not even listed. Search for it. It's not there.

I think DC even wanted to distance itself from this movie. In the comic books John Henry Irons (Steel) has a big Superman "S" on his chest. But in this movie, Steel has nothing to do with Superman at all. He's more like a version of Ironman than Superman. Besides lending Steel's real name to the character, it appears that the film was sanitized of all other connections to Superman or DC. Good move, DC.

I would have watched this monstrosity but I couldn't even find the most die-hard DC fan that owned a copy. Sure, I could spend $2.99 and watch this flop on Amazon but it's not even worth that. If you do own a copy, lend it to me and I'll torture myself for two hours so I can pick it apart for your reading pleasure.

This is Superman burning every existing copy of Steel on DVD.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Movie Review - Supergirl

I remember watching Supergirl, released in 1984, as a kid but I don't have very clear memories of the film. So, I recently rewatched the expanded edition with 24 extra minutes of footage. Now, for an expanded edition that's quite a bit of added material! So if I write about a scene that you don't remember, that's probably why.

This film is an odd entry into the Superman franchise. First, it is officially and 100% in-continuity with the other Superman films. But where? In the film we hear on the radio that Superman is on a peacekeeping mission in another galaxy. While that's convenient so the filmmakers don't have to deal with Superman running around that explanation in and of itself raises many questions. Does this mean humans have discovered one or more alien races other than the Kryptonians? Were we are war with them? If not, why does Superman feel he can bring about peace in a conflict? How did Superman and Earth learn of the aliens? All unanswered questions. Supergirl was released between Superman III and IV but there's nothing to indicate that it is before or after either of those films in continuity. There was a planned Supergirl II but poor results at the box office squashed the hopes for a sequel.

Now, on to the movie review! First, the positive:

  • Supergirl is cute and I felt the actress, Helen Slater, did a fine job. The costume was perfect.
  • The character of Supergirl stuck to the honest, honorable and noble roots of Superman.
  • Supergirl sticks strictly with the Superman Continuity. It was a nice touch to have the character and the same actor that played Jimmy Olsen appear in this film (especially since he was sidelined in Superman III!). Supergirl's roommate is Lois Lane's sister (small world!). Concepts from the Superman movies are carried over into this film such as the phantom zone and advanced Kryptonian technology and science. 
  • Supergirl's ignorance of Earth culture was refreshing. Superman arrives on Earth as a baby so he grows up learning about Earth culture. Supergirl is ignorant and you get some of those same fish-out-of-water moments as when General Zod, Ursa, and Non explore Earth for the first time in Superman II. 
  • The use of magic in the film is at first a little odd because all the rest of the Superman films are strickly Sci-Fi. But when one considers that Kryptonians have two weaknesses - magic and Kryptonite, it makes sense.
  • The film attracted Faye Dunaway and Mia Farrow. Since Superman had a big-name father and villain, it makes sense that Supergirl should have a girl-name mother and villain!
  • The way the lead dragon grew around the omegahedron (a powerful energy source) was very cool.
Now, there's plenty of weird and simply bad things in this film. Some of this stuff is simply just sloppy or lazy storytelling.
  • The presence of Argo City, an entire city of Kryptonians, on Earth is never fully explained. Sure, it's in "innerspace," but why didn't it get blown up with the rest of Krypton? It is strongly implied that it was created as a refuge by Zaltar, saving the Kryptonians inside. When Kara breaks a window there is a seeming void outside and when she leaves in her "spaceball" vehicle she seems to be traveling through space only to fly out from beneath a lake on Earth. Huh? At the end of the film she returns, once again flying back into the lake and we clearly see Argo City underwater. I just don't get it.
  • Kara seems to be very aware of her cousin, Clark Kent's, activities on Earth. She knows he works for the Daily Planet, knows his name "Clark Kent, know that he is Superman, and knows that they are cousins. How? Once again, it's never explained. If she's so knowledgeable about Clark's activities on Earth how can she be so ignorant of basic Earth concepts like trees, rocks, or trains?
  • Perhaps Supergirl's costume has some Krytonian technology in it because she can quickly alter it to look like her school uniform. That, I can buy. But what about her hair? In an instant it goes from being long and blonde to being shorter and brown. 
  • While we're on the topic, why does Supergirl bother joining the school at all? For Superman, a secret identity makes sense because he lives on Earth permanently. Kara was simply looking to retrieve the omegahedron and return to Argo City with it. Sitting in class when she could be searching for omegahedron (which her people will die in days without) doesn't make much sense. In fact, in one scene she could chase after the omegahedron but a scolding from a teacher causes her to give up pursuit. Huh? Why does her secret identity hold any value for her? Kara doesn't seem to be in that big of a rush to save her race from extinction.
  • The love interests in this film struck me a little... odd. Linda (Supergirl) and her roommate Lucy Lane are both in high school yet the much older men, Jimmy Olsen and Ethan the gardener, don't see anything wrong with pursuing them romantically. Linda and Lucy are either 16 or 17. Jimmy has had a full time gig as a photographer for year  and the gardener appears to be older - I'd put them both in their early to mid 20's. Statutory rape, anyone? Plus, why don't a think Lois would be thrilled with Jimmy making out with her high school sister?
  • Likewise, the obsessive interest that the Selena the witch takes in Ethan, the lowly gardener is very odd to say the least. Here we have a woman who want to rule the world but she spends all of her time obsessing over an uneducated clod. 
  • Girls running around in their bras and shower scenes just didn't seem to fit with what was otherwise a clean, fun, family film. 
I'm sure there's about another thousand nit-picky things I could mention about this film (such as how it was the dead of night when Supergirl rescues Ethan from the amusement park but daytime when they land on the beach a little bit later). But what would be the point? Supergirl, although fun in a nostalgic way, is not a good movie by anyone's standards. If I HAD to rate it against the other Superman movies, I would still put it higher than Superman III and Superman Returns. Just because Supergirl is cute. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Movie Review - Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is considered by many to be the worst Superman film ever. I would disagree. Is this film, "good?" Maybe not, but there's a lot of good in it and it is certainly better than the series oddball, Superman III.

First, the good:
This film shares a lot in common with its predecessors, particularly Superman and Superman II.. Some may call this a negative but if you liked it the first time, why wouldn't you like it this time? This film fits very nicely with the first two films, returning Lois Lane as a central character and Gene Hackman as Lex (his "parting is.... inevitable" line is brilliant!). Superman reveals his identity to Lois (again), flies with Lois (again), does the Super-kiss (again), the plot of the film involves missiles (again), Lex summons Superman using ultrasonics (again)... I could go on. I liked how this movie addressed the worldwide geopolitical repercussions of Superman's existence. It's easy to show Superman rescuing cats out of trees but why doesn't Superman end all war? The nuclear issue was THE hot button topic in the 80's and I think this movie expressed what a lot of Americans were feeling: We wished the nukes would just go away. Superman's speech to the UN is awesome. It was also good to see Superman fighting an actual super villain in this film. The Nuclear Man proved to be a real threat to Superman. In fact, my wife watched this film for the first time recently and midway through the film she wondered out loud if they would really kill Superman. The whole plotline with the Warfields buying and ruining the Daily Planet brought out the best in Perry, Clark, and Lois. The characterization of Clark was dead on: "He's the oldest living Boyscout. He's trustworthy, helpful, loyal, obedient..."

And then, the weird, the bad, and the weirdly bad. Superman films NEVER get the rules of space and/or time correct. So here we see Superman speaking in space, a normal human being carried into space, and Superman can apparently hear radio waves (he responds to a Russian singing inside his space suit). Anyway, that runaway satellite would have killed that astronaut in an instant. Superman flies Lois across the country in a very brief period of time... 3,000 MPH would have killed her!

In this film it is also implied that Superman hates the earth. He cuts the top off of a mountain to stop a volcano. Really? This is going to work? Ever heard of corking a volcano? He also moves the moon for the sole purpose of blocking the sun. Why not just fly into the moon's shadow? You really had to cause worldwide tsunamis for a small, brief tactical advantage? Then Supes risks a full-fledges Chernobyl event by dropping the Nuclear Man into a nuclear reactor. Wait... isn't that murder? Since the Nuclear Man had Superman's genes does this mean that this method could also kill Superman? "High school physics?" Huh?

I never understood the whole, "Disarm the world" thing. It says that the governments aren't willing to disarm themselves, but then they fire their missiles into the sky where Superman collects them one by one. Why the change of heart? Or were the countries actually trying to destroy one another, hoping that Superman would miss a few missiles? And how does Superman know he got all of the missiles?

Powers are, as always, wacky in Superman films. I guess I accept the whole telekineses thing but Superman rebuilding a destroyed Great Wall of China in mere seconds with some kind of weird vision is too much. Superman also cooks a duck through a wall and the oven with his heat vision. Since when can heat vision pass through walls? Mind explaining how the Nuclear Man's scratches turned Superman into a sickly 80 year old? Wait, I thought if the Nuclear Man lost contact with the sun for even a few minutes he'd shut down... so why didn't he shut down when he flew into the volcano's core?

Oh, and it's always nice to see a vindictive Clark use his powers to nearly kill a civilian like when he drops a 200 pound weight on a jerk in the gym. Way to teach him, Clark! I could go on, talking about cops wearing headphones to listen to a car speaker system, Superman understanding just who Nuclear Man means when he randomly asks the question, "Where is woman?", how easy it was to cut Superman's hair in the museum, and the irresponsibility of hitting baseballs into space where, you know, the astronauts Superman just got done rescuing are. And don't even get me STARTED on the Nuclear Man clothing issue.

Nitpicking aside, at the end of the day I like this movie. It may be pure nostalgia, but I feel it does a great job of capturing the zeitgeist of the 80's. Both Superman and Clark Kent are spot on and, at the end of the day, that's what you bought the ticket for. Not a great film, but not the worst in the series either.

KGS Podcast - Episode 00024 - Death Watch Review


Monday, May 23, 2011

Call of Cthulhu - The Movie!

HP Lovecraft was an innovative, creative writer, capable of crafting true horror masterpieces that resonate with fans to this day. But jeezum-crow, why hasn't anyone been able to make a decent movie out of Lovecraft's work? Or at least follow the plot of one of his stories? Most horror movies that claim to be Lovecraftian are really pastiches, using some of the Cthulhu mythos and ideas to create their own, usually terrible, stories.

But, finally, a few dedicated people from the HP Lovecraft Historical Society have taken Lovecraft's most famous story, "The Call of Cthulhu," and made it into a movie that actually follows the storyline! Who'd've thunk it? And it's good (with the exception of one notably bad scene, which made me laugh).

The movie is done as a silent film to appear contemporary to when the story was first published in 1927. This film style works incredibly well for the story, and it's obvious the movie creators have a real understanding both of Lovecraft and of the expressionist horror style, popular in the 1920s with such works as "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and "Nosferatu". The only time the film doesn't work is the one notable scene I mentioned earlier and which I will spoil now SPOILER ALERT! They show Cthulhu coming out of the see and it is one of the cheesiest special effects puppets I have ever seen! They should have rethought that whole scene because it was truly ridiculous. I'm warning you about this in advance because I thought the rest of the movie was so good and true to the original work. Check this movie out! It originally was released in 2005 but is currently available on Netflix for instant viewing.

BTW, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society is set to release their next film adaptation, "The Whisperer in Darkness," some time this year. This time the film is a talkie, to coincide with the original publishing date of the story (1931). I can't wait to see this!

Deathwatch: Rites of Battle

Rites of Battle

If your going to be playing Deathwatch this is a must have, even with the high price tag.

Going to Fantasy Flights website and checking out their write up about it (http://store.fantasyflightgames.com/productdetails.cfm?SKU=DW04 ) you'll find 3 tiny paragraphs, and I do mean tiny, your probably going to want to Ctrl+scroll wheel to get them up to a size that not killing your eyes! Yes they do give a accurate if not vanilla description but they certainly DO NOT give this book justice.

Here's a chapter by chapter breakdown of the book. Be warned if your not a 40K fan there's going to be several parts of this you won't totally get.

The book starts Chapter I: Deathwatch Origins with rules to creating any existing chapter (existing as in 'not in the core rules' but wrote about in some 40k book or such) or even a chapter of your own. This break's it the whole way down to such things as Chapters Hero's of legend, Home Worlds, Livery and Heraldry tables. Two of the most amusing are the Chapter Name Adjective and Nouns tables where you could come up with cool names like White Paladins, Millennial Champions, and Imperial Devourers...oh wait that doesn't sound to much like a loyalist chapter name! Regardless there's 37 Adjectives and 55 Nouns and if for nothing else their good for ideas.

The Imperial Fists are fleshed out across eight pages for us to put into our games along with lots of Successor Chapters; Novamarines, White Consuls, Black Consuls, Mortifactors, Genesis Chapter, Consecrators, Angels of Redemption, Angels of Absolution, Fleash Tearers, Lamenters, Blood Drinkers, Knights of Blood, Crimson Fists, Hammers of Doom and Subjugators. Each has about a page of info and history that's a nice Space Marine resource.

Chapter II: The Call of War is filled with Deeds and Distinctions, good and bad. These are give so that during character creation you can spend some of your starting experience on your Marines past and why he was chosen to be seconded to the Deathwatch. From my following list of the types you'll get a good idea of what the six or seven under each title could be. Deeds are; Chapter Deeds, Campaign Deeds, Valorous Deeds, Specialty Deeds, Deeds of Disdain. Distinctions are; Command Marks, Combat Marks, Determination Marks. If you don't find what you want there they tell you how to make your own and give you four examples.

Like there are for Dark Heresy, there are Advanced Specialties that your Marines may take. In the most basic way these are Skill/Talent/Trait lists that you train in that would replace your normal Rank progression table. These's are; Black Shield, Champion, Chaplin, Dreadnought, Epistolary, Forge Master, Keeper, Kill-Marine, Watch Captain and Veteran. Yes, I typed Dreadnought and they give you some good ideas about this too. One suggestion is that if a player ends up becoming a Dreadnought they should have a regular marine too so the Dreadnought doesn't show its armored hide in every game.

Chapter III: Expanded Wargear does not disappoint with everything from Graviton Cannons up to a breakdown of each Mark of armor and more Armor History tables. Space Marine Armor is as legendary as the Marines themselves. There's allot of 40k background out there that mentions how unique and individualized a Space Marines armor becomes after centuries of action, the single Armor History table in the Deathwatch Core Rules book was great and really brought this background to life. Here 3 more are to add to insure more variety in your players armor.

Chapter Relics and Deathwatch Relics finish out Chapter III. These are special gear that can be requisitioned by the players. All the rules are included encase the players are stupid enough to lose one too.

Chapter IV: Vehicles does the best job of the 3 rules sets (Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch) to finally get vehicle into the game. This doesn't just have droppods to Thunderhawks in it, this includes Warhound Titans too (and yes there are a million Land Raider variants listed!). Chaos gets a few pages from fighters right own down to Defilers. The Tau lover will not be disappointed in the five and a half pages of Xeno's flying thing'ies.

Chapter V: Honour or Death (Not Honor, Honour. Is that how the British spell it? Remember 40K is a British game, not American) gives a breakdown on how to award your players Renown, and how to lose it too. The Honours section breaks down many of the classic Imperial Honours for us. From how to get a Crux Terminatus on up to the Machina Opus. Twelve Honours are listed along with rules for creating your own.

Requisition is revisited in this book followed by Imperial Assets. Imperial Assets are things/people/armies that the party can spend their Requisition points on. From High Altitude Bombing Run's to getting a Sequestered Temple Assassin(who can use one of them!). Unless your naturally inclined to be disappointed, you won't be.

The chapter ends with two pages of Advanced Solo and Squad Mode that seemed like they should have been in the Core Rules and fell on the floor sometime before printing.

Chapter VI: Watch Fortress Erioch gives you the history of the Watch Fortress along with important areas that could end up being adventure sights. The chapter then gives you twelve NPC and eight prisoners of the Watch fortress along and several adventure seeds with each of the NPC's so you can put them right into your game.

I think that one of the challenges of running a long term Deathwatch game will be trying to make the game something more then "go there and kill this, go here kill that". This chapter has four pages of adventure ideas, Erioch Operations, unfortunately two-thirds of the adventure ideas aren't more then the standard Kill-Team 'mode normale'.

The two pages of Artefacts of the Omega Vault you'll find spark off all types of ideas and wil leave you wishing it had been pages and pages longer. The chapter ends with Beyond Erioch: Regions of the Jericho Reach giving you seven more adventure areas to expand your game into.

A mention should be made about the Table of Contents and the Index. Deathwatch: Rites of Battle has both and they both work too!! Yeah that might not seem like a big deal to some of you but if you've been gaming for any amount of time then you've seen what I've seen. Having both and having the page numbers actually take you to where you want to go is a big deal in the gaming world, great work Alex Davy (Editor).

My biggest complaint that I can muster up, less the cost, is that there is no master weapons nor master vehicle tables at the end of the book! Come on guys/girls for the price couldn't you give me four more sheets of paper with all the Wargear and Vehicles stat's in one place? (had to put the girls part in there, Andrea Gausman is in the credits for Additional Writing. Look guys a woman that knows a little about 40k!)

In closing, if you own a copy of Deathwatch you'll want a copy of Deathwatch: Rites of Battle. Its really that simple, go buy your's today.

Sam Colechio

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Online Flash Games, Week 1: Downhill Snowboard 3

Have you ever wanted to snowboard, but been afriad of being killed in an avalanche or snapping an appendage? Well, Downhill Snowboard 3 offers just that, only your ragdoll character takes the pain.

In this game, you try to pull off insane jumps and tricks. On some levels there are rails you can grind on to get extra points. Others will have an avalanche to contend with while you ride down. You get points at the end of each level, according to the number of tricks you did. These points are used to unlock new boards and boarders who have increased attributes. These attributes are jump, speed, and rotation.

The controls are simple. They are listed in the upper-right corner of the map select screen. You only get points by sticking the landing. If you snap a leg or neck, you don't get the points. Or if you simply don't stick the landing, oyu lose the points.

This is one thing I found confusing and frustrating at times. The game is not consistant when it comes to determining tif you have stuck the landing, getting you the points. If you get 5,000 points, and the game thinks you landed incorrectly, even you landed the exact same way as last time, you lose them.

All in all though, I find the game fun and interesting to play. It gets to be a bit of a grind later on, but it's still fun. I recomend this game for just about anyone. Even if you only want to play it to kill you ragdoll character.

This game is produced by Armor Games and is free to play.

Aerial Dogfight to End All Dogfights

This news story is from John C.

At the upcoming Origins convention, a group called The Buckeye Gamers in Flight will be attempting to set a new world record for the most gamers playing a single board game simultaneously. The game they're going to be using is Wings of War which they hope to have 100-140 people playing. So if you're going to origins and you want to be involved in this... good luck to you, my friend. It's everyone for themselves, fight to the death, last man standing. My suggested strategy? Fly along the boarder of the table for the first ten rounds or so, trying to avoid everyone and every thing!

To me, this SOUNDS like a really cool idea but I would be surprised if it isn't anything but a total mess, especially considering the rules for elevation and overlapping planes. Also, they're trying to set the world record for a BOARD GAME. Is WoW a board game? I wouldn't call it that. I would say it is a miniatures game.

Here's an idea of what the table might look like with all of those planes:

This reminds me of the "grand melee" playing format for the Magic: The Gathering Game in which literally hundreds of people play simultaneously.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

You, Too, Can Be a REAL Jedi!!! REALLY!

So, how does one become a Jedi? Aren't I, "Too old for the training?" Well, it turns out, I just have to read this book (and the three after it): http://newilluminatiprotocols.com/media/TheBookOfJedi-np.php?RSID=1146&r=jedi2

The thing is, these people are SERIOUS. I mean, SERIOUSLY serious. Here's what is says from the New Illuminati Protocols website:

"The Book of Jedi is a free publication that prepares the Initiate for training in a Jedi Academy. It has been imbued with specific thought seeds and a secret internal rhythm that will awaken an awareness of The Force within you. Simply by reading through this document in it’s entirety, certain inner preparations will be made within you. The Jedi Order has existed quietly on Earth for centuries, awaiting for this moment in history to come forward and make our training available to many more who qualify to learn the ways of The Force. In the final pages, instructions will be given to you should you choose to request additional information about formal training in one of our academies."
Download an Unregistered Version Instantly, Here

So look out, bullies who picked on my in high school. I'm a JEDI now and I don't take no gruff from nobody! Man, it was easier to become a Jedi than it was to bulk up on muscle like that Charles Atlas ad on the back of comic books promised me! Sweet!

Friday, May 20, 2011

'Cause Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's May 20, 2011...

...because, as you may already know, the world ends tomorrow. Well, not REALLY. It's just the Rapture. So if you're a true believer, say your goodbyes today because as of 6 o'clock you have a one way ticket to Heaven and an date with God that will last all of eternity! Don't believe me? Check out the news story here: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/05/20/jonathan-kay-for-the-insecure-and-the-rootless-tomorrow-the-world-ends/

Everyone is always saying, "The world will end tomorrow." But they won't say that on May 21, 2011! They'll say, "The world ends TODAY!"

KGS would just like to thank all of our loyal fan(s). You'll never get to read my Superman IV movie review. Life and Raptures are full of disappointments it seems. Mom, I love you very much. Goodbye!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

One Dollar Movies are Back at Regal in York, PA

KGS applauds the Regal movie theater in York, PA for their one dollar ticket price on second run, family friendly movies. What a great chance to take the kids out to the theater without breaking the piggy bank! All showing will be at 10:00 a.m. - perfect for kids! This concept is brilliant for the theater as well. It works on the same philosophy as Free Comic Book Day - get the kids used to using your product and they'll continue in their teen years and perhaps into adulthood. As stupid as it sounds, movie theaters may go the same way video rental stores went - into extinction. That would be a shame and KGS is glad to see Regal promoting theater attendance with such a great program.

Movies will include....

June 28 How to Train Your Dragon
June 29 Muppets from Space
July 6 Karate Kid (I'm guessing the new one... darn!)
July 12 Jason and the Argonauts
July 13 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
July 19 Megamind
July 20 Open Season
July 26 Open Season 2
July 27 Yogi Bear
Aug. 2 The Last Airbender (Some M. Night Shamalan "goodness.")
Aug. 3 Open Season 3
Aug. 10 Muppets Take Manhattan

Movie Review - Superman III

This image pretty much sums up Superman III. Richard Lester, who took over Superman II from Richard Donnor, was allowed to run wild with this film. What was Richard Lester drinking when he directed this? I would call this the worst of the original Superman movies. Still, it's not without its positives, so let's start there.

  • The bit with Clark's old high school sweater was neat. At one point he holds it up to his chest, the giant "S" mirroring his Superman icon. At another time he wears it tied around his neck, draped down his back like a cape.
  • Lana Lang was a welcome addition. Her character was wonderfully ADD and seemed to embody Smallville's innocence. 
  • When Superman takes an interest Ricky, Lana's son, this mirror the father-son themes from the first movie. Since Jor-El "dies" in both the first and second movies (well, at least the Richard Donnor cut), it was refreshing to see Clark take a fatherly interest in Ricky.
  • Evil Superman caused by synthetic kryptonite. Clearly the highlight of this film is the "Dark Superman." Right after the world is threatened by Zod and the other criminal Kryptonians (try saying "criminal Kryptonians" ten times fast) they witness a Superman without inhibitions. It was cool seeing Superman pick up chics and getting blitzed. But Superman's "crime spree" is more like a series of childish pranks - straightening the Leaning Tower of Piza and blowing out the Olympic torch. I liked the color scheme of the "Drunk Superman" and I noted that it was very similar to the color scheme using for Superman Return's creepy voyeur Superman. Irony, anyone?
  • The Clark Kent / Superman fight is epic. You're never quite sure if this is real or all in Superman's head but it is awesome to see Evil Superman gloat as he kicks Clark Kent's press pass across a junkyard. And how awesomely out of character is it to see Clark choke the life out of Superman? Makes you think that even though Clark won, he'll never be the same...
  • This is the first Superman movie that I actually remember going to see in the theater and my one true memory of seeing this movie the first time is Vera turning into the mechanical computer woman. MAN DID THAT CREEP ME OUT AS A KID!
Now, on to the... sigh... bad... I'll try to be brief as there's just so much of it...

  • First, where's Superman? The Superman action in this film is incredibly limited. In fact, for that matter, the CLARK action in this film seems limited. WAY too much time was spent on Richard Pryor's character, Gorman, and the film's boring villain, Webster.
  • It seems Lester just wanted to get rid of the entire supporting cast: Lois is off to the Caribbean, Jimmy breaks his leg early, and Perry is stuck in Metropolis while Clark is off to Smallville. Lex Luthor is replaced with a stupid villain, Webster.
  • The film really shows its age. Since computers are the primary focus, every time a computer is shown you just think about how old they are. Also, Gorman gets cut off of unemployement after 36 weeks. He views himself as a bum. Today you can get unemployment ranging for up to 99 weeks! Talk about changing times!
  • Stupid slapstick. Why did Lester feel that Superman movies needed more stupid visual gags? He was the one responsible for the windstorm in the second movie. Now he brings us more slapstick with mimes and blind people. Oh, the blind man walked through the painting and used the street line drawing machine as a seeing eye dog! Ha-ha-ha-Ugh.
  • The very little Superman action we do see is either inconsequential or very unrealistic. 
    • Thrill, watching Superman stop a wheat harvester!
    • Gasp as you witness Superman freeze and entire lake, lift it up, and then the lake melts before it can hit the ground! Wait, why didn't Superman just cool the acid tanks or put the fire out with his cold breath?
    • Don't blink or you'll miss Superman rescue a guy from a car improbably filled with water!
    • Take you heart meds to prepare for Superman RECEIVING A AWARD!
    • Stare in amazement as Superman DRIES OUT THE GROUND AFTER A RAIN!
    • Try not to freak out as Superman FIGHTS A COMPUTER! *Yawn*
  • The entire plot is very, very, very weak. Wait... you're telling me that all of this is so a businessman can control the coffee crop and oil industries? Isn't that how it works in reality anyway? 
So, in conclusion, Superman III is bad. Not as bad as Superman Returns, which I will tear apart in the next installment of the Superman movie reviews, but bad. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

KGS Podcast - Episode 00023 - Savage Worlds Review


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who Says Video Games Make You Lazy?

Who says video games are bad for you? For these teens it inspired them to make an absolutely unbelievable tribute video to Guitar Hero - BIKE HERO! This video is a you-gotta-see-it-to-believe it all in one take wonder. The sheer logistics of working this out must have taken months. Why aren't these guys running NASA.... or the government?

101 Alternative Uses for D&D Fortune Cards (#5)

Dungeons and Dragons has jumped the shark with Fortune Cards.
We have a new 'comedy bit' called 101 Uses for Dungeons and Dragons Fortune Cards. Check out the photo gallery on the right of this page to see how we are putting our crappy fortune cards to better use.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thor Holds Strong at #1

Flop? I say to thee, nay!

Check out http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3163.

Thor - #1 again. According to this Box Office Mojo article, Thor's numbers held better in the second weekend than Iron Man 2 and X:Men Origins: Wolverine, among others. A 10 day total of $119.3 million is certainly no flop!

Movie Review - Superman II: The Richard Donnor Cut

I liked the Richard Donnor Cut. I had never seen it until viewing it recently. Viewed in conjunction with Superman: The Movie it is a little odd considering they re-used the time-travel bit (which is not actually "re-using" since the time travel scene was originally in this movie anyway). It makes me wish there was a "Richard Donnor Cut" of Superman: The Movie as well so you can see both films together as he originally intended them.

In places this version of the film is a bit rough considering that some of the scenes were never filmed in a finished take. It is amazing to me how you can take the same plotline and with some minor tweaks make a completely different film.

First, the changes that worked for me:

  • S2:TRDC does a much better job of tying the two films together than the original Superman II. Gone is the Eiffel Tower terrorists - instead, the missile from the first movie is used to free the villains from the Phantom Zone. 
  • Lois suspects Clark's secret much earlier on, comparing a picture in the newspaper of Superman to Clark. This makes it seem much more plausible when she tests him by jumping out of the window.
  • Superman's mother is replaced with Brando as Jor-El. Give me a Hallelujah! 
  • Probably my favorite new scene is one in which Lois tests Clark by firing a gun at him. Clark admits he's Superman and then Lois tells him she used a blank. Brilliant!
  • When Superman loses his powers his clothes don't magically change. Street clothes stay street clothes.
  • Superman sleeps with Lois BEFORE losing his powers.
  • Jor-El "dies" to restore Superman's powers. In the original version no explanation was given. 
And, the bad...
  • Superman destroys the Fortress of Solitude... why again?
  • Superman breaks up with Lois. He's just going to turn back time and erase the whole thing so why make her suffer by breaking up with her?
  • Superman turns back time. It didn't make sense in the first one and it doesn't make sense here. Let's think about it. Superman turns back time, undoing all damage to Earth, to the point where the villains are re-imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. BUT...
    • He doesn't CHANGE time, meaning the same sequence of events should occur all over again. The missile will still free the villains.
    • Clark avoids Lois's suspicions successfully this time. 
    • Clark then proceeds to go to the diner and beat up the bully trucker but here's the thing - Since Superman turned back time the trucker never beat Clark up! That means that Clark goes a beats up a trucker for absolutely no reason at all! Man, now THAT'S vindictive! "You punched me in another reality. Welcome to intensive care!"
All in all I would say I enjoyed the Richard Donnor Cut more than the original. Gone are many of the visual pranks that just seemed to be out of place in the original version. This version just seems to flow better and is more cohesive. Despite his efforts it is obvious that this film is truly a Frankenstein - sewn together from bits here and there. I just wish that Donnor's vision had remained intact for both films so we could see them both as they were truly intended to be.