Monday, 21 November 2016

Brock Lesnar Vs Goldberg, Survivor Series my oppinion... (SPOILERS)

I remember when I used to watch the Royal Rumble back when I was a kid, I would love it every time they would throw a few statistics in there, they would tell you the amount of times someone had won when entering at a certain number, what the record for the quickest elimination was, how close someone was to beating the record for longest time in a rumble or the most eliminations, it just seemed to add to the spectacle of it all.

So am I talking about the Royal Rumble? No it just seemed like a good way to start this one sided conversation, lets face it that's what a blog post really is, it is me talking to you my reader, I just talk and talk at you and sometimes if I am very lucky you might leave me a response. The response could be that you agree with me, that I have taught you something or made you think about something or you could be telling me that I am an idiot that you don't agree with me, that I am talking crap but in truth there could be an argument for saying that any response is a good response in a way? How is this relevant well it is because I want to talk about the match between Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar which just took place at Survivor Series , for those of you who haven't seen it well basically Goldberg crushes Lesnar. The entire match can be described as Lesnar picks up Goldberg and throws him into a corner, Goldberg then pushes Lesnar over, spears him twice jack hammers him and pins him match over with only 2 minutes of actual wrestling time and 1 move performed by Lesnar and 5 by Goldberg if you count the push, the 2 spears, the jack hammer and the pin as moves. Now the internet is obviously full of people debating this match, who won, who should have won, if it should have gone down the way it did, how it makes the two men look so I figured I should give my opinion on it all.

For a start I am not going to be talking about Brock being a legitimate MMA fighter and saying ''oh man he could kill him'' I don't care about what either man has or can do outside of the world of wrestling I just want to talk about them as wrestlers. Looking at wrestling go back and look at a lot of Goldberg's old matches and they were basically short squash matches in which the guy was a monster who beat people up and did it quickly, his matches seldom went that long and he seldom was subjected to a real competitive worker going all out to try and make a match look like a believable struggle, if you want to see his limitations then I strongly recommend you watch Goldberg versus William Regal, its not a long match but Regal really does put him through his passes on the one hand it makes Goldberg look a little bad in places but I think it actually makes his win all the sweeter and shows with some work he could have been capable of more than we have seen from him. Brock has had a lot of squash matches where he just power moves people and quickly puts them to bed, but if you watch some of the matches he has had you can see that with his amateur wrestling background he is actually capable of doing a whole lot more, just watch some of his matches with Kurt Angle if you want to see a good example of what he is really capable of the man can do the power moves but he can also be very technical and surprisingly agile for a big guy. I have to admit that I think Brock is the better wrestler and that he is actually capable of 5 star matches under the right circumstances, in fact I would rate some of his with Angle that highly, I also love the match where he lost the belt to Eddie Guerrero, yes he lost but it was a great match and matches are pre-determined and it takes 2 athletes working hard to make them feel real.

The thing is though that wrestling is both entertainment and a business, you can say Brock is better on paper or that with his MMA skills he should be able to rip Goldberg's head off but is that the best outcome to provide the most entertainment value to the most people and is it going to be best for business? You can claim its not realistic but then look at most of the entertainment we consume, are films like Rambo 3 realistic where one man seems to be able to almost single handedly defeat the armed forces of an entire country and be back home in time for tea? Of course not sometimes you have to accept something whether it is likely or even possible in order for a piece of entertainment to work to its full potential. You need to factor in the story they are trying to tell and the facts at hand. Goldberg has not properly wrestled for a long time, he apparently minorly injured himself in a recent spot on TV and even when he was at his prime he wasn't exactly known for his long matches, so allowing him to finish things off quickly minimising the potential aggravation to any injury's he might have recently sustained was a good move. If Brock had been the one to win he would have had to have done at least a few powerful looking moves to a potentially currently fragile Goldberg risking the chance of hurting him which goes against the wishes of both the WWE and Goldberg as he has signed up to appear at the next few main events. It might make Brock look weak but this is not irreversible, you can have him face Goldberg again latter when he is physically more able and regain his honour, there are so many ways you can make a whole story out of this.

The match was kind of disappointing but I think you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, this match and its outcome kept everyone safe and left the book open for another chapter, not only that but it has everyone talking about it and that kind of heat is good, you know what they say no publicity is bad publicity.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Ash Versus the Evil Dead season 2 spoiler free review

 So on this very blog I tried to review the first series of Ash Versus Evil Dead when it came out on an episode by episode basis but I ended up getting to around the 6th or 7th episode and then other things got in the way, plus I have to admit its just hard to write a review of each and every episode as it is put out. One of the issues is that if someone is into the show then they are going to watch the episodes before you've had enough time to do a review, heck they are probably going to watch it when you do or if they are in another country they might even see it earlier than you depending when it is transmitted. This is one of the reasons I did a review of the whole first series of Bates Motel, I was late in finding Bates Motel so by the time I had seen the first season you could already buy the first 3 seasons so it seemed a little silly to give it a episode by episode review. I was more trying to attract the attention of people who had not seen the show before, those who either didn't know it existed or who hadn't decided if they should give it a shot or not. I probably wont review any more of Bates Motel because well I think it carries on much the same as it starts , series 2 and 3 feel exactly like series 1 so if you enjoyed that with all its twists and turns then you will most likely enjoy them, I guess my 1 line review of series 2 and 3 of Bates Motel would be, if you like the first series then you will like these as well and I recommend them as they are very similar and maintain the same level of quality.

To cut things short I found the first season of Ash Versus Evil Dead to be an awesome show, it more than met all of my expectations. It was a continuation of the Evil Dead story, of Ash's story which seemed to fit well with what had gone before it, it had the kind of gore worthy of the original Evil Dead matched up with the kind of humour seen in Evil Dead 2 and Army Of Darkness (Evil Dead 3). I will try to spoil as little as possible but Season 2 continues the story of Ash while showing you a lot of things from his past, you get to see the town he grew up in, to see what people think of him after the events of the films, you meet his Dad which without giving to much away shows you were Ash gets a lot of his shall we say characteristics from. Much like with the first season though it is more than just an Ash fest, you get to see a lot more of Kelly and Pablo and learn how they are adapting to life as heroes who fight against the Evil Dead. You also get to see what is happening with Ruby. If you enjoyed the humour of the first season then its still here, Ash is just as awesome as ever just as chauvinistic, just as politically incorrect, and just as cocksure and also as dumb as usual and to me that is great, Ash works best when viewed in this way. The whole point of the Evil Dead is that the only thing between death and destruction, between the Deadites killing everyone and ruining the world is this stupid one line spouting moron who runs in shotgun blazing chainsaw revving brain none operational and yet through pig headed stubbornness seems to win the day. No matter how dumb he is at times you just cant help but love the guy and most of that is down to Bruce Campbell the guy is simply a great actor who throws himself into the roles he plays with everything he has, I could easily write a whole article on how it is a sign of the craziness of Hollywood and the film industry that this man is not held in much higher regard. Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo are also in my opinion just getting better and better and the show does a good job of keeping this show very much a team effort, it honestly looks like it must be a whole heap load of fun to be a part of this show.

It also needs to be said that if you watched the first season and you liked the gore then it certainly hasn't been lowered any, if anything I would argue that in some cases the gore has been ramped up to 11. I could easily write a list of amazing effects or key points where I loved how something in particular was done, but I really don't want to spoil any moment of this show for someone who has not seen it yet. In short I need to strongly recommend this season to anyone who saw the first season and enjoyed it. If you haven't seen the first season then I recommend you start there and then watch this season after. I know that this show wont appeal to everyone but if you like both Horror and Dark Humour then this show is right up your street. If you enjoyed the likes of the Walking Dead but woulndt mind seeing some funny one liners and comedy 3 stooges type moments thrown in with your death and destruction then this will be right up your street.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Good bye Wii U, alas you were not known well enough...

Recently Nintendo has kept denying that it would soon stop producing Wii-U's, but now finally they have confirmed it. With its low sales during its lifetime and the announcement of the next Nintendo console the Switch it is hardly surprising but I have to say that I think it was a good machine. Sure there are a lot of things that can be said against it,its announcement was pretty much a failure with many people not trulyunderstanding if it was a new console a redesign or some kind of add on, some of this can be blamed on the name itself the Wii U being far to close to the console before it, some argued it should have been the Wii 2 or the Super Wii or just had a whole new name and while I agree with this kind of thinking we will never truly know if things would have turned out that differently if it had been named differently. The game pad was an original idea, it was cool that in a lot of games you could be playing on your TV and then if someone wanted to use the telly you could switch on to the screen on the pad instead of having to stop playing. This could have been done a little better I remember when it was announced I really thought you'd be able to wander around your house with the gamepad taking it with you, but it doesn't work at any real distance, your pretty much stuck in the same room as the Wii U console, but it was still a good idea. The fact it was backwards compatible and could play Wii Games and use Wii Accessors was a good thing, it meant you could put your Wii away but still play your games.

There was quiet a bit of decent third party support at the start but it soon trailed off, but that doesn't make it a bad machine, the Cube didn't always have the best third party support but much like the Cube the Wii U had some truly excellent first party games, and much like with the Cube not enough people will have played these wonderful games.

So what game would I signal out and tell people that they simply need to try? Well that a hard one, I adored the third Pikmin game, then there is Bayonetta 2 with all its super colourful action glory, Yoshi's Wooly World, the awesomely creative Super Mario Maker, sure maybe Mario Maker is a little simple and should have in way been made years ago I wont argue there but it is an awesome tool set you can spend so much time playing around with, add to this Xenoblade Chronicles, Kirby and the rainbow curse, Donkey Kong tropical freeze. It is a great little machine and unlike the Xbox One and PS4 you play the games of the disc and dont have to install them on to a harddrive etc so its not a giant pain in the behind, you can buy game after game without having to worry about the size of the game.

 I actually think that in time the Wii U will be looked back upon fondly, I think it will be seen in a similar way to the Cube with it being a good machine that was simply overlooked, if this is true then some of these good games might go on to be a royal pain in the butt to find, so as the switch is due to be released soonish if you see Wii U's being sold off then maybe stop and give it a look and consider grabbing yourself a bargain.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

SNES review 105 Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits

OK so this is a bit different to reviewing a regular SNES title as its a compilation of older arcade games, basically there was no real alterations to them they are just copies of the old arcade machines no new graphics or functions added. I kind of need to throw a sort of disclaimer in here, what a person will make of this particular game/cart will largely depend on what they expect when they pop it into the Super Nintendo, if you have been playing a whole bunch of Donkey Kong Country and other high end advanced (for the system) games and haven't ever sampled the games on this compilation in there original state in arcade machines or even ports of them on an older machine (For example there I a port of Defender 2 a game present on this compilation on the Atari 2600) and don't have a particularly high tolerance for games from before the SNES era then you might find yourself very underwhelmed.

An important part of making a good compilation is deciding which games to put on it so what is on this one well you have Joust, Sinstar, Robotron, Defender and Defender 2. Now while the games go together well it needs to be noted that 3 of them are spaceship based shooters so its not exactly big on variety. I have quiet a big history with 3 of these games Robotron, Defender and Defender 2.. Robotron I had played a lot in the arcades at the coast so playing this was quiet refreshing to jump in to it again, not only is it one of those games which reminds me of a happy time (past family holidays) you can also tell that it is one of those games which has fed into so many other games since its release including games like Smash TV and Geometry Wars (a personal favourite of mine). As for Defender and Defender 2 well I had owned them on my Atari 2600 and while I have to admit that the 2600 versions are cut down versions they were good enough for there time and I was always very fond of them. Joust I never really appreciated not in the way a lot of people seemed to, it just didn't do anything much for me, Sinstar I never really knew but I have to admit it is a pretty good slice of space shooter action. I do think that having Defender and Defender 2 is a little redundant they are both so similar that its more like just having 2 slight variants of the same game, I would have much rather seen a different Williams classic take one of there places such as MoonPatrol.

The games although kind of shallow have a great pick up and play just one more go, I can do better than this kind of vibe which well they should with there origins being in the arcade and it is good to see them on the SNES but and it needs to be said is it really worth using a SNES to play them? Copies of this Cartridge tend to go for around £20 and that's just the cart, sure if you look around and play your cards right you might be able to get it cheaper I paid £7 for mine recently (from an indie games store) if you have an original Xbox or PS2 though then I have seen the Midway Arcade Treasures collection go for as little as £2 or £3, sure it might not be considered quiet as collectable or give you an excuse to use your super Nintendo but that's £2 or £3 for 24 Midway arcade games including all of the ones on this SNES cart, plus a lot of other stuff like Smash TV, Paper Boy, Rampage add on top of this the fact that these disc based compilations have a few interviews and such on them well they just provide a lot more bang for your buck, your getting more for less.

If I had to give Williams Arcade's greatest hits a score well I would have to kind of give it 2 scores, one for those into classic games and that would be a 7, its a good collection of a handful of arcade classics but with the selection not being the best it could be, and one for those who only want to see the best a machine can do and that score would be a 3 as well compared to most of the SNES  library what is on offer here is basic in every sense of the word.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Bates Motel Season 1 (Spoiler free) Review

Psycho was one of Alfred Hitchcocks very best films and I think it should go without saying that Hitchcock was a master of horror, and Psycho is one of those very few films which despite being from the horror genre actually seems to garner a large degree of respect as a piece of classical cinema. So when it was announced that there was going to be a series based on the same book that the Alfred Hitchcock film was based on people were well I guess the right way to phrase it would be tentativly excited.

As it stands Bates Motel is set before the timeline of the film/book, it is set when Norman Bates is younger (17) and kind of showing what he was like before the events we know about, what he did, who he knew and how he became to be the character we saw in that classic film, one of  the legends of horror. This is a good thing as we have already seen a few sequels which explore what Norman Bates got up to later after Psycho, I cant say I honestly remember all of them but I do remember rather enjoying Psycho 2, so without going in to review territory I would recomend that if your reading this intrested in Norman Bates in general that you give it a bash.

So what did I think to the first series of Bates Motel? Well in short I really enjoyed it. There are a few things I would mention to someone who has seen Psycho who is thinking of giving it a shot one of these is that it is one of those sort of remake/reamaginings of an idea which although it does stay true to the core of the idea it grabs that core and plucks it out and places it into a modern world. This is not set in the 60's like the film, you will see mobile phones, the internet and other modern tools and ideas, this doesnt bother me at all but I think its worth mentioning as I know that this might turn off a few people. As far as I am concerned having written my own horror stories I know how difficult it can be to check facts if you set something in a diffrent place or a diffrent time, it is just an extra list of rules you need to remember a lot more things you have to fact check so that your not pulling anyone out of the moment by them seeing a digital sports watch that wasnt released till the 80's when your shows set in the 60's. Setting things in a modern setting just makes things far easier so I wouldnt hold it against them.

One of the best things in my oppinion about the original Psycho was Anthony Perkins acting in the role of Norman Bates, its only fitting that one of the best things about this show is the chilling and disturbing way in which the actor Freddie Highmore portrays Norman Bates. I once read the statment that the best villians are those who do not think that they are villians, well this takes it a little bit further in a lot of ways Norman Bates is sort of the hero of the show your very much seeing life through his eyes the things he faces and what it is like for him, if your anything like me you will actually find yourself rather liking him even if you dont like some of the decisions he makes and if you can even feel yourself wanting him to defy his future. Vera Farmigais also great as Nora, she is always intresting, you never quiet know if she is telling the truth about things or lying for her own benefit or to protect Norman, this show will always keep you guessing, you will feel yourself connect with quiet a few characters and there problems.

The show starts with Norman and Norma moving to White Pine Bay to start a fresh life after there father/husband ha passed away. They have purchased a motel which they are planning to renovate and then run as a new business venture. I wont take it much further than this as I want to draw attention to the show and give my oppinion on it without ruining it for anyone and it is one of those shows which has revelations in every episode and that is a lot of what will keep you coming back. At 10 episode a season and approximatly 45 minutes per episode it wont take you too long to make your way through the first season, I am currently half way through the second season myself.

I would give Bates Motel season one a very healthy 8 out of 10, its not flawless but it is a darn good show which I find to be really well paced and to create and maintain a veyr believable community/world with lots of interacting characters, relatiionships, and power dynamics, on a side note it might not be a bad gateway to bring someone in your life into the world of horror as its almost part horror, part pschological thriller and part soap opera. There is a lot here which would appeal to diffrent types of people.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The Films I watched to celebrate Halloween 2016

So I said I would most likly do a post talking about what I watched during my Halloween celebrations, Well I started off by watching Maniac Cop. Now Maniac Cop might not be the most famous horror film but I do remember seeing it on several Video Rental store shelves, I remember there even being display stands featuring the main character. Apparently it only had a limited Cinema release but it made enough money on the rental scene to gain it two sequels.  Although it never gained the kind of level of fame that the likes of NightMare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th did I think it really has a lot going for it and I would recomend it to anyone looking for a decent horror film to watch after all it stars both Tom Atkins  and Bruce Campbell both of which always give good solid horror movie performances and both of them are in fine form here, so if you like either or both of these actors and like the Jason Style unstopable slasher villian kind of thing then you simply need to see this film.

I love having the opportunity to talk about Video Rental shops because they played a very big part in my childhood particularly when it comes to horror movies. There used to be a section in my local rental store where there was an entire rack of horror tapes all of them being available to rent for the night for 50pence, a good weekend would consist of going to this rack and flicking through all of the film cases there looking for 3 or 4 films which took my fancy. Now you have to realise that when I was younger there was no internet so all you knew about films was a combination of what was written or shown on the case and sometimes a little word of mouth. You might rent 4 films and 3 of them could turn out to be real garbage but if you found a good one, one which was worth telling your friends about then you would be a legend when they all rented it, I have always been seen as a sort of authority figure on horror and I guess that started with my weekend rental habbits. Halloween was a chance to invite a small group of friends around and to rent the few films you had found that you throught were real gems and to show them off, to show them how good your taste in films was. 

Next I put a film in my disc drive called Let the Right one in, I am afraid to say I then learned that this was a swedish film with subtitles and well I really didnt fancy reading, so I turrned it off and replaced it with a film called The Last Sign. I grabbed this film when a local charity shop was having a half price sale, they had gotten too many DVD's and so they selling them for 50pence instead of the regular £1 they usually ask for, so I basically grabbed a whole pile of horror type films knowing that A) I would get round to them sooner or latter and B) it was for a good cause. I also admit I was attracted to the idea of grabbing random horror to watch for 50pence a film even though some could argue with NetFlix and NowTv and such I should just subscribe to one of those and have lots and lots of films available for me to watch for a flat rate, but there is something so cool about actually having physical media, seeing the cases after all arnt film cases a form of art in there own right? So when I picked up this film the first thing I noticed was the name Tim Roth on the case. For those not in the know Tim Roth is an actor who I rate very highly, a lot of people will know him as Mr Orange from Reseviour Dogs (Marvel fans might recognise him as the guy who goes on to become the ambomination in the Edward Norton Incredable Hulk fiilm) The thing is though I see his name and it is litterally enough for me to give a film a shot, the case also mentioned Andie MacDowell a woman who at one point seemed to be in absolutly everything and who has been decent in a fair few things. So what did I think of it? Well it was an over cliched ghost story, something which could have easily been cut down into a short, it didnt have enough Tim Roth, it was far to slow going, the things which happend which were supposed to be twists could be seen coming a million miles away and there was just so much ''hello, cherio, hows your day going'' stuff that it seemed like watching some kind of soap opera, I would say that it was 50pence wasted but with the money going to charity thats not really fair to say, so I guess I will just say it was 50pence which didnt benefit me. It does kind of circle around to a decent ending but there is far to much filler it would have been much better having 75% of its filler removed and replacing it with 25% more depth and being made into an episode of something like Tales from the Darkside or the Twilight zone.

Next I went on to put on Humanoids from the Deep which is a Roger Corman production. Yes its made by one of the indie film masters known for being able to make movies quick and cheap. The movie is summed up by the blurb on the box saying ''Scientific experiments backfire and produce horrific mutations: half man, half fish, which terrorize a small fishing village by killing the men and raping the women.''reading this and having even the slightest idea of who Corman is you should know the kind of thing your in for. I can best explain this film as being a sort of part Jaws, part creature from the black lagoon,exploitation style B movie. What can I say about this film well it looks like it was recorded on very low quality film stock my DVD looks worse in quality than some VHS tapes I used to own but this doesnt stop me considering it to be a great bit of film making. It is one of those films where there is not one actor I can name in it yet you sit there and go oh its that guy thats in that other thing, oh look its him that yeah that guy, everyone does a reasonable job acting and the monster effects are all very good considering its budget. I strongly strongly recomend that if you havent given this movie a watch before that you get a hold of it and give it a chance, sure its not a genre defining Psycho, Jaws or Silence of the lambs but its a good chunk of B movie horror that shouldnt be missed.

From here I decided to do a double bill of Poltogeist followed by the Texas Chainsaw massacre (the original versions of both). Now I am a huge fan of Poltogeist and I wanted to show it to my daughter as she had seen a lot of modern ghost type films and I wanted to show her a film which I think really paved the way for a lot of these types of movies. I ended things by watching the Conjuring an actually fairly modern film I do respect, in fact I see it as a sort of modern poltogeist but good unlike the actual remake.... I could go into more detail about these films but I figure I have talked enough for one post and if I say much more then this will get to long. Whatever you all did I hope you all had a good Halloween.