Tag Archives: Video Games

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Experience Returns to Comic-Con!

Assassin Creed's Experience
The Assassin’s Creed Experience returns to San Diego Comic-Con for its second year with bigger and more challenging obstacles that will have players parkouring and soaring through Victorian-era London. Course attendees will receive instantly shareable action shots of them tackling two of the course’s obstacles, the overhead glider, new to this year’s course, and the iconic 25-foot Leap of Faith. Additionally, fans who pre-order the game will receive The Rooks Initiation Kit, which includes everything they need to join Jacob and Evie Frye’s gang on their quest to liberate London. Holy crap, I have to do this! Check out the amazing trailer.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li – Not The Worst Videogame Movie By Far

You think I’d learn. Every time I check out a movie based on a videogame, I’m let down – sometimes to an extreme [like with Max Payne, DOOM and the original Street Fighter movie]; sometimes by the tiniest of margins. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is one of the latter.

streetfighter poster

Here’s a movie that features some of the wittier martial arts choreography to be filmed in the last few years, and there’s a clever – even wistful – parallel father/daughter arc that shows Chun-Li [Kristin Kreuk] to be treasured by her father [Edmund Chen], and Bison’s [Neal McDonough] daughter used solely as a repository for the last of the goodness in his soul.

Unfortunately, the film falls into the usual origin story knee-deep exposition and too little actual martial arts sequences. Performance-wise, the cast is pretty good. Kristin Kreuk is at least adequate as Chun-Li; Robin Shou gives Gen [her mentor] a combination of gravity and humor that works really well; Neal McDonough is suitably psycho as Bison, and the sly chemistry between Interpol agent Nash [Chris Klein] and Bangkok cop Maya [Moon Bloodgood]definitely adds to the mix. Only Michael Clarke Duncan [Balrog, Bison’s number one enforcer] doesn’t fit – more because of the script than Duncan.

Andrzej Bartkowiak’s direction is crisp enough but he simply has too much material to cram into the film’s ninety-six minutes. The result is a movie that does entertain on a basic level, but is missing the kind of pure excitement that it needs to reach the next level.

Final Grade: C+

MOVIE REVIEW: Max Payne – Overused Plot Not Juiced by Superficial References to Norse Mythology!

Take the basic Punisher plot [cop’s family killed by bad guys], add some designs by Constantine and top with a superficial gloss of Norse mythology, and you get the videogame-based Max Payne. Max Payne [Mark Wahlberg] is the cop whose wife and son are murdered; Alex Balder/Baldur [Donal Logue] is his ex-partner who discovers a link between the deaths of Payne’s family and the death of Natasha Sax [Olga Kurylenko], sister of assassin, Mona Sax [Mila Kunis].

maxpayne 

Then there’s the blue fluid that is a failed super-soldier formula [so very Captain America] and the hallucinations it induces of Valkyries [the warrior women who bear Vikings who died in battle to Valhalla. The question is this: if everyone who uses this stuff sees the same hallucination, is it a hallucination or a glimpse into a supernatural realm – a question that is never answered [and could have made the movie something much better]. That fluid leads to the mighty Aesir [residents of Asgard – home of the Norse gods] Pharmaceutials. The company’s head of security [Beau Bridges] is Max’s dad’s former partner on the police force.

There’s more of this kind of thing throughout Max Payne – like the big blowout that occurs in a club called Ragnarok [the Norse end of the world myth]. Of course it’s a red herring. What else could it be? The biggest twist possible would have been if the club actually was where the movie ended.

Max Payne is beautifully shot, well-paced and so technically accomplished, overall, that it’s a shame it never attains any actual style. Most of the action choreography is an homage to John Woo [or blatant theft – you decide]. All it needs is a few doves…

Max Payne is a waste of some very talented actors – and of an hour and forty minutes in the life of anyone who sees it.

Final Grade: D